God, You are so kind… so gentle… to lovingly pursue me the way You do. Your faithful affection comforts my restless soul. The world would tell me You grow weary of my weakness, that to have any at all is sin. But the love of Your only Son assures me with the same love You allowed Your angels to minister to Him within the garden, that just as You loved Him through a great time of agony and desire to avoid His cup if possible, You love me in my time of weakness, within the darkness that suffocates my soul.
No matter how many times I must battle sudden or lingering fear, You will never leave me, nor limit how many times You will tolerate me. Not one of the three times that Your Son prayed to You in anguish did You turn Him away. Not one time did You tell Him to dry it up, or that You were only going to put up with so much. When those great drops of sweat fell as tears or blood, You did not tell Him what a disgrace He was to Your name. Nor did You tell Him that His cries were shame on a faith that He just did not have.
You were there for Your Son every single time He prayed, every time He fell on His face to You, and every time He asked if You would change His circumstances by removing His cup. You instead heard His every word, including…
“And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.“
– Matthew 26:39 KJV
And as You remind me of these words and my precious Jesus suffering His agony, You send me a song just as You sent His ministering angels.
Beggar by Benjamin James reminds me to be kind to the beggar that’s inside of me, and the fiend that I am hiding too. You know the part of me that constantly pleas for relief from the agony of my weakness and for forgiveness for that wretched fiend that is very much a part of me. Instead of scolding me, which I am already doing so much myself, You tell me to be kind to myself.
You tell me to feed the poor and lonesome girl in my own soul, to love her till she’s been made whole. There is so much she has been deprived of, robbed of, or simply thrown away in foolishness. I am to feed the poor within myself.
You tell me to be at peace with the enemy within my own home because whether it’s her undeniable guilt or my attempts to blame her, we can neither one throw a stone. We must take care of the mote in our own eyes, and do as You have commanded in loving one another so that the world will know we are of You. We are to be at peace with one another.
I’m to be good to the criminal I’ve locked away. In my repentance and growing in Your word, I learned to hate the sinful side of me enough to avoid it. But in my desperation to be free of the shame and guilt, in my desperation to be cleaner in Your presence, that I might have the hope of Your embrace, I have locked myself up in a self made prison that keeps me from remembering the freedom You have given this sinful girl who has been separated from that which convicted her. She is so weak from the lingering weight of a guilty conscience. I need to be good to her because she needs a friend, she needs to know she is genuinely forgiven. False guilt will imprison her enough. Doubt will try to convince her she’s still shackled. My refusal to show her love can hinder her from feeling Yours.
You remind me that when I’m broken to pieces, You make me whole, and through EVERY season You’re mending my soul. That includes weakness, doubt, darkness, fear, anxiety, depression, anguish, and everything that Satan can throw at me, or that I simply struggle with yet again. You are working to help me love You with my WHOLE heart.
Suffer long when you are your own prodigal. In Your Holy Word, to suffer means to allow. You tell me to allow my fear, my doubt, my darkness, and all that comes with being who I am to be, and take as long as it needs, to be able to feel like I’m finally coming home to You. For where my home is there my heart is full. By allowing You to work with me in whatever way You have prepared for me, and as long as You ask of me, I am allowing You to make my heart Your home.
So be gentle with the splinters in your mind. They haven’t all been put there alone. And no matter how they got there, by being violent to myself, I am merely continuing to blind myself like all those things along the road of life that blindsided me so that I would blindly walk along, unable to see the Light, the Truth, and the Way. Without the gentle love of Christ, I am keeping the blinders of life on, sometimes willingly.
So I am to be gentle as a Lamb… the precious Lamb of God, who has set me free of the prison of self condemnation. I am to love myself as He did… as He does.. the love that let me know I am the child of the One True King. God, my Father, my Creator, knows where I have been, what I have done, and what I’ve come through. But He wants me to remember that while I am still in this flesh, as His Son once was, He knows there will be moments of humanness. He also wants me to remember that He uses these times to draw me near, and remind me of what He has brought me through, so that I will have courage to face the fear, confidence to confront the doubt, and light to walk in the darkness.
“He giveth power to the faint,
and to them that have no might, He increaseth strength.”
– Isaiah 40:29 KJV