Sunday, November 22, 2015

In the Desert Place

Sometimes it feels like my emotions betray me. I am tired and discouragement starts to seep into my bones. And I start to ruminate and all the reasons why I am hard done by come into my head and fill my thoughts. The "if only," the "why me" questions, the memories of the mistakes made and the things I did that embarrass me now with their sheer stupidity. The things that feel unfair and the battles I have fought. The long road ahead stretching steeply upwards.

At those times I forget Jesus' words of comfort and hope, the promises of my Heavenly Father, the rest and peace I have been granted time after time. I forget He sees me in my weakness and he does not despise me in it. A bruised reed he will not crush and a smouldering wick he will not snuff out, as a good friend reminded me today.

I guess tears can be healing, and sorrows must be acknowledged for losses that have been suffered and hopes that have been disappointed. I can grieve what has been lost, but I can't wallow in it. It is a good for a man or woman to bear the yoke when they are young and to sit in silence and offer their cheek to the one who would strike them, as it says in Lamentations. It goes on to say however "For the Lord will not cast off forever. But though He causes grief, yet He will have compassion according to the abundance of His mercies. For he does not afflict from His heart, nor grieve the sons of men" (Lamentations 3:31-33 Modern English Version). The NIV phrases it "He does not willingly bring affliction or grief to any one" and speaks of God's "unfailing love." 

God's love never does fail, however jumbled my emotions might be on any given day. He is always the same, strong, sure and steadfast in his affections for me. When I go through dark times he is with me through it and he promises to remain with me through all the painful steps and anxiety-inducing stumbles. He is as proud of me as a parent is with their young child just learning to walk. He sees my faltering steps and fumbling efforts, and he says "Well done, my child." Learning to accept his praise for something I feel I should have mastered long ago can be hard, and harder still is stopping my striving and just resting in his love. Still, in this season of transition and change, he is teaching me the art of waiting patiently and just soaking up his love like a thirsty plant.

No comments: