It's been a day. I think I've said that before.
Weeks... years... moments... gathering like sand falling quickly and soundlessly.
I want to stop it so often. I want to reach out and catch the small granules, capture them and hold on until I am ready to let them go.
There will always be those moments that we wish for. That we want to grab back.
I don't want to call it regret... but maybe I will.
I find myself in a lot of moments of regret lately....
I wish I would have said that different... or done that better.
I wish I would have taken more time for what I know is more important and not wasted my time like I do so often.
I wish I hadn't missed that moment.
I wish... I wish... I wish....
God has had to put a huge Stop sign in front of me as of late.
As of yesterday to be precise.
I hate that I fail Him.
I really really hate it. And I hate to have to say the word hate at all.
But honestly... there is no better word for it.
I dislike failing and feeling like I've failed more than you can even know.
It is like gall in the back of my throat. Gross.
I know that I can't control others... how they feel... and what they think... but I try really hard to control me.
And I don't do a very good job of it. At all. Mostly never.
I don't mean self control. I'm pretty good at that. At least I hope so.
But I do doubt myself a lot. I live in a perpetual world of "I guess." and "I hope so."
I get the impression that most people don't think that about me.
I go back and forth about what I should and should not say. Who I should and should not be.
And no matter how hard I try to censor myself... I fail. All the time.
I need a Handy Mandy kind of guy to come along side of me for every moment to "fix" the mess ups and foibles that I seem to be really good at making, and point out when I go "astray".
I just saw a huge likeness to the helper that God has already given me by the way. The One that I so easily lose sight of and forget.
I feel like I have offended Him the most.
I feel like I have put Him off to the biggest extent.
I have been replaying in my head how months ago I was in a different place... a different season... and a place of profound and deep conviction.
What has happened?
What has happened that I feel it a little less....? Where have I stepped out wrong that I am failing fast?
And why is it that everything in me just feels a bit.... lost... and huge amounts of weak?
I know the answer.
Just in case you were already hitting the reply button and ready to respond... which by the way, I love. So if you were... please do.
I need to hear the truth more than I need any amount of pats on my back.
I actually revel in correction.
I know... weird. But I know what keeps me on the narrow path.. and I don't want to get to the point of being on the wider one.
But I do know where I have digressed... I've been at this a very long time. My life.
I've been living it for quite a while now.
I am seemingly a very disciplined person.
How does a disciplined person get to a place of complacency... and ultimately a place of feeling condemned by that complacency while all the time knowing the truth. Having lived it... and being taught it from the time I was cutting my teeth on the meat of my belief and standards?
I'm not lazy... but I'm really good at being it.
I don't forget that often... but I forget what is most important quite a lot.
I can be the most faithful person to the very core of my being... but then why do I act faithlessly and allow my being tired to interfere with knowing Who I should run to when I am feeling worn out?
I've been here before.
I cringe to think that I will be here again.
In every moment lately I have been hearing my Fathers gentle voice... I have been feeling His reassuring nudges.
"Don't look there...look Here...."
"Remember what I've taught you... what I've told you... What I have been and am saying right now."
None of His promises have changed.
Nothing has swayed what He has ultimately said to me. Confirmed in my heart. What I know is true.
Am I stalling it?
The desires to do what He has placed so deeply within myself?
And what is any of that in light of knowing Him and really truly loving Him?
What if I had stayed more faithful than I am right now?
What if I had continued to put my face to the floor every single day with the tears washing down my face like I was doing every day before that?
What if I hadn't started turning to the "easy" things to ease and soften my weary heart and mind?
As my sweet husband would say to me, and by the way he says it to me quite a lot...
"Is God still God? Do you believe that He Is? Who is in control Melissa?"
"Your not Him."
(And we should all heave a huge sigh of thankfulness for that one!) :)
No I'm not. I'm not God.
I do believe in Who He Is. I do know that he is in control.
And just as much as my faithfulness isn't contingent on whether or not He chooses to do anything in my life.... my unfaithfulness doesn't change Who He Is, and what He has promised.
I wish it did sometimes.
I might feel better about myself if it was.
I might not feel so utterly crushed to know that this woman who fails more than I succeed, is loved so profusely... so abundantly... that I shrink and weep as I am doing right now with the knowledge of it.
I don't deserve it.
I don't deserve this love.
I don't deserve this kind of grace.
I deserve the condemnation.
I deserve the regret.
I deserve the punishment and the looks of derision....
I deserve it all.
But He won't give it to me.
Not since the day I called out and He made me His own.
He has claimed me.
He has called me His.
And when I look at Him with my head bowed down and finally sneak a glance from lowered lids, what I see and what rushes into me like a swift and fast moving wind a look of utter undefinable love.
Eyes that are filled and overflowing with a grace and compassion that makes me drop to my knees.
"Father.... You shouldn't... You shouldn't love me like this."
"I fail you... so often. All the time."
"I know who I am... and I know what I am capable of.....and I don't understand this kind of love... this kind of grace....
"I don't understand."
And as the thoughts tumble over each other in rapid succession His Word rushes over them. Running them through.... taking them with It to leave a level piece of land. Ready to be plowed... ready to grow what is right and not leaving anything that shouldn't be there.
I want to be effective.
I want to be worthy of Him more than I want anything else in this world.
I tell my children all the time... I drill into them in every moment that I can teach it to them.
Nothing else matters.
Not what they want. Not what they need. Not even what they may think is more important.
Nothing is more important than the most high God in their lives.
And if I'm going to say it... then I need to model it.
I am not a do as I say kind of person. If I can't live it and do it... I won't expect you to either.
I am smiling at the remembrance of days long past. Day's when that phrase was one I used often with a group of girls that changed with the passing of time.
Coaching came natural to me. I loved it. I miss it more days than I don't.
And now, today, I can see so many things that I would have done different.
So many things that I would like to change. About myself... and about many other more important things....
But the one thing I would change the most... the one thing I would want to go back and do better....
Is to tell them this. To beseech them with these words.....
Don't let anything come in the way of you and God.
He is and will always be the most important relationship you will ever have.
A lot of people will promise you things.
A lot of things will hold the possibility of what you think is better.... things that might bring you what it is you think you want and the pleasure that you are seeking in that moment.
But it's not going to last.
Those people are going to let you down. The pleasures will only be for a little while.
Eventually it is all going to go away.
It will leave you empty.
And if what you are left with is anything less than Him... you will pay the price.
It is too high a price to pay.
Don't do it... please don't do it......
Please don't move away for one single second away from the One who will love you deeper than any lover that promises you the world. Or any way that seems more fulfilling or worth risking it all for.
Their love doesn't have the power that His has.
No way can fulfill you the way His way will.
Their promises can only accomplish what it is in their power to give. And they don't have it to give. Not really.
But He does.
He has it all.
All that you need and will ever need.
And just in case you do.
Just in case that you scoot away from Him... and someday find yourself far far away.... please remember what I've told you before this.
He is faithful. And His love is unfailing.
The moment you cry out... no matter how feebly, how quiet or how loud... He will be there.
He will come running.... down that road that you may have taken without Him. The path that you thought was greener... the way that you thought might be better than His.
And with His arms opened wide He will welcome you back. No questions. No regrets.
But with unfailing love that will cover every mistake you could have ever made.
Grace for every moment.
Every single one..... forgiven.
Just like today.
Just like my today.
He is hope.
He is the hope of my salvation.
And He is yours..... He has always been yours.
I know I haven't always done it right... and I will make many more mistakes.....
But I am moved at how His love far outweighs and eclipses all of them.
I'm not enough.
I'll never be good enough.
But He is enough.
And He is more than good.
...until another tomorrow.
"19-21I'll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness,
the taste of ashes, the poison I've swallowed.
I remember it all—oh, how well I remember—
the feeling of hitting the bottom.
But there's one other thing I remember,
and remembering, I keep a grip on hope:
22-24God's loyal love couldn't have run out,
his merciful love couldn't have dried up.
They're created new every morning.
How great your faithfulness!
I'm sticking with God (I say it over and over).
He's all I've got left.
25-27God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits,
to the woman who diligently seeks.
It's a good thing to quietly hope,
quietly hope for help from God.
It's a good thing when you're young
to stick it out through the hard times.
28-30When life is heavy and hard to take,
go off by yourself. Enter the silence.
Bow in prayer. Don't ask questions:
Wait for hope to appear.
Don't run from trouble. Take it full-face.
The "worst" is never the worst.
31-33Why? Because the Master won't ever
walk out and fail to return.
If he works severely, he also works tenderly.
His stockpiles of loyal love are immense.
He takes no pleasure in making life hard,
in throwing roadblocks in the way:
34-36Stomping down hard
on luckless prisoners,
Refusing justice to victims
in the court of High God,
Tampering with evidence—
the Master does not approve of such things.
37-39Who do you think "spoke and it happened"?It's the Master who gives such orders.
Doesn't the High God speak everything,
good things and hard things alike, into being?
And why would anyone gifted with life
complain when punished for sin? 40Let's take a good look at the way we're living
and reorder our lives under God." Lamentations 3:20-40, The Message Bible
"25The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different." Romans 7:25 The Message Bible
"1Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
2For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.
3For what the Law could not do,weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh,
4so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
5For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.
6For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace," Romans 8:1-6 NAS Bible