Are You sure You’re enough for me, Lord?

I thought I needed You,
but along with a lot of other things.
Well, some of those things have come,
some have not,
and some were taken from what
I already had.
Through it all,
You are left.
I guess You were all I needed
after all.

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What is there in death that is not grace?

“God, I can’t live this dependent on You.” My words are truth–an admission of undeniable need–not a whining attempt to manipulate His hand by way of His heart. “Every day it becomes more obvious: You have set me on a path that is not equal to my abilities. In Your sovereignty over the grand scheme of my life, You were not looking for a way to make my strengths and Your goals compatible. Rather, You have made a way that allows only for all strength to come from You.

“Truly, Father,” I go on, in a tired way. “I cannot pretend that this is easy for me to take. It isn’t. I feel like You’re taking away my freedom. I feel like you are condemning me to death. I can’t escape and I don’t know how to live here either. What am I to do? How am I to continue on this unfriendly-to-me path? Nothing I’ve ever experienced in life presents me with examples of how to handle this latest test. I am helpless, in myself.”

My child, that is exactly how I want you to be. In the greater-than-you difficulties of your condition, you are most present to grace. All your reaching from that place can but be for Me. I know it feels like death to you but, loved one, you must grow to embrace death in My hands just as you embrace life. I am the One who provides for you in both–I am the One who uses both for your good.

I know you don’t want to see good from Me in this way. But, My tender one, it is time. You are ready to face this. You must grow deeper in Me, and this is what is required. If there could be another way, I would execute it. Yet, My still one, you will not truly suffer: The gain you shall receive through this is knowing more acutely the pleasing submission I exhibited in My death. You will understand what gave value and depth to My resurrection.

You will be acquainted more deeply–more feelingly–with My travails for you. You will be consumed by Love in a greater way. You will rejoice–on the other side–for you will know that your God did not hold back from you any revelation that would bless you; though, at times they ran so deep that they exposed your weaknesses.

Can a God, jealous for my love, still be true when I am jealous for more than Him?

“I’m jealous, Lord,” I confess in a mourning voice, “of what others have. It wouldn’t be so bad,” I continue, “if I didn’t seem to have so little myself…” I pause as my wandering glance is arrested by several reasons for thanksgiving peaking out at me, daring me to be honest about what God has given me.

I try, but cannot address those things in words; rather, I hope that gratitude will be a whisper He hears from the recesses of my heart. How I need Him to listen carefully, I think to myself. Otherwise it would be a disaster: He could misunderstand my words for those of a grasping child who recognizes none of His faithfulness. He could become fed up with me and turn away from me forever.

Not completely over my fear, I am forced to continue the emptying of my soul. The potency of my feelings will allow me no other recourse. “Daddy, it’s just that I was having such a hard time being content as it was, and then–tada–there is my nemesis with more than me in just the places that I was hoping You would finally decide to bless me.

“I try to put it out of my mind; to be grateful in spite of this, but…I can’t take it! Why would You double things up on me like this? I thought You had mercy on Your children. But this feels more like I’m being squished–and quite on purpose! Please explain Yourself, Lord.”

And then His answer to my pleas falls upon me like a blanket of silent snow. Each word communicates that He is still here with me–whatever my condition and whatever imagination I lack regarding the benefits of His grace:

I do not have to explain Myself to you. All you need is for Me to give Myself to you, to reveal Myself in mystery; to captive your heart with healing that transcends the trials I’m using to show your need for Me to be these things to you.

You do not need change, My child; you need patience that waits upon Love with confidence which no circumstances can shift or shortchange. That’s what you need and I am giving it to you.

Lord, what is it that brings You near, making Your name to be my fear?

I don’t understand why my life has had to remain unpredictable and unstable for this long, Lord. I thought walking with You would give me good reason to hope and grow in expecting good things. But, God, I don’t understand: Have the good things I am waiting for gotten lost; have the good things I used to know fled to never return? God, I’m trying to make sense of what You’re doing but, instead, all I can make sense of is how I feel closed off from all the things that used to make my life seem so sweetly perfumed with Your love. Please, give me some imagination: I don’t understand what I’m supposed to do with myself in the absence of so much blessing.

Wake me up, Father, to Your goodness to me in this day. May I not be so wrapped up in what I loved about yesterday that I am not able to fully appreciate what it means to have you with Me in in every moment of my now. God, I cannot cultivate a heart like this, but You can show Your glory in doing this in me.

Father, this is Your day that You have appointed. You have control over it and You alone. It is not for me to tell You what You should do with it, or how You should use it to benefit me. It is first and foremost designed to bring glory and satisfaction to You. It is filled with pressure so that I may be driven close to You; it is not sheltered from pain or confusion so that it may be at Your breast that I receive the comfort that I equate with Life. Only You know how this can be done and yet no day does it fail to happen. You and Your mercies are all over my life. That is all that must be said, all that must be so. Amen.

…And You think of me?

Where are You today, God? What occupies Your mind concerning me? Do I make Your Top Ten list of important thoughts and interests? What do You make of me and how can I know what that is?

Have you ever asked God these questions? If not, it’s about time you have. These are important things for you to know. Too important, for you to try to get along without. Don’t let fear or pride get in the way of letting God spill out the contents of His unfailing love within your heart. He’s anxious to do so–won’t you let Him?

We’re together in everything–right, Lord?

I sit, uneasy. “With the world resting on my shoulders, I feel left alone by You,” I tell my Lord. “I can’t understand how I’m ever going to see You in this mess. I just don’t feel that I have enough strength to hold out for what You’re doing. Do You think You could give me a break, or at least let me know that we’re in this together?”

Oh, My Child, could it be that I would leave you? Is there a way that I could forget that you needed Me? Beloved, you must understand this: You may forget that you have needs, but I do not forget that you are as you are in My hands. I do not grow mystified by your condition nor do I forget what love looks like to you.

But, My Favored Child, you must understand that I will use many things to grow you that you may not understand in the moment. Yet, little one, do not question My love. My love is what supersedes your understanding with grace that is too great for you to fathom. Come, come near Me and you will find your rest–not in answers, but in the One who answers you.

If I can’t expect to enjoy the same way I did last time, is it worth coming to Him at all?

About two weeks ago I had an incredible week with God. Every day felt like a private conference between God and I that would put went deeper in its benefits than any other symposium could parallel. Each day seemed to have a new theme of grace that featured interactions with God that took a turn down paths I’d not yet have the privilege of traversing. What I had gotten used to with God was swept away in the tantalizing novelties I experienced.

But, like other conferences I’ve attended in the past, this one had it’s end: When it had served its purpose, it faded out of my life. I was left to put into my day-to-day life the fresh energies God had filled me with while I was in His presence. Now, there is a definite extent to which this God-imposed exchange seems a terrible concept. My initial feelings suggests that God is a bit cruel. How could He give a gift characterized by such intensity and then cause it to dissipate in such short order?

Here is a distinct example of how God’s thoughts are not like mine. When I grow familiar with a particular movement of God and I strain with hopes that it will last forever. God never favors preserving my fear-based desire that He not introduce any further alterations to my situation. Rather, He kindly overspreads me with His love; love that shifts me and turns my heart from focusing on what He gives to focusing singly on Him.

He doesn’t help me by making allowances for my propensity to look at His hands and lose my concern for beholding His face. His mode of service looks more like intervention. And, as we all know, intervention (when it’s coming our way) is never wholly pleasant. But the thing for you and I to remember is that God takes in the whole picture of our lives when He cares for us. What may give us grief for a moment does not lose it’s potential to give us more pleasure in God in the future.

Contrary to what our hearts may believe, pleasure is something that we need to learn. Pleasure cannot be divorced from God, and as people who have been divorced from Him through sin, we have lost the knack for it. Therefore, we must trust God in the way He chooses to conduct this training. His Spirit, alone, knows how to instate the deepest of joys in our hearts. We may not always understand the manner by which He’s doing it, but we can learn to trust the Love that dictates them. In that way He becomes the draw in all things, not what He’s doing or how we feel about any of it.

 

Wikipedia: He is a third-person, singular personal pronoun in Modern English, as well as being a personal pronoun in Middle English.