|Painting by CM Dudash|
I've so much I long to say that my heart and mind feel overwhelmed. My mind swirls with questions and I long to hear you say, as you did to the Sea of Galilee "Peace, be still". Lord, I know I need to listen better to you, because you are faithful to speak through your Word and a multitude of ways but this buzzing in my brain, the ever present hum of this distracting, crazy world is like static to my soul. I confess I sometimes have a hard time hearing you through the haze of the days. How I long for uninterrupted time with you. How I long to stay in your presence forever weeping and kissing your feet. I know in your divine presence I feel nothing but the bliss of fears expelled. Perfect peace, joy and holy acceptance. Oh, Lord I want to live in that every moment. Is that Heaven? Because I long for it from the inner core of my being. Lord, it's my birthday tomorrow (I mean I know you know this and all) and I am approaching the half century mark. That sounds rather cryptic, but Lord I wonder if I will ever grow up? Grow old. I still feel like that same little girl. The one who felt your guarding presence but did not fully understand. The Little Girl who hid in the stairwell and cut Catechism class when the teacher shamed her one day. Week after week she walked to the class (or so her mother thought) and instead hid in a stairwell wondering the time. I knew you were there but I did not know what to say to you. How to talk to you. So I sat there in my shame, feeling the filth of my self. Waiting. Sensing your presence but my own lack. Spiritually mute. Lord, I am grateful that you didn't wait for me to find words but you stayed with me. A friend to me before I was ever a friend to you. You have been that faithful friend even as I ran from anything that reminded me of the shame, the filth, the uncleanness that only you could clean. The thought of you extending a clean white cloth dipped in blood and water to me. This is all too wonderful to me. The thought of me running from you dirty, when all you wanted was to cleanse me from my own self-righteousness and sin. To cure and heal me from that which was within and without. The thought of your love and faithfulness and my ignorance and rebellion. I rejected you because I did not understand your great love for me. Or my own unrighteousness. But you came to give sight to the blind, riches to the poor, and health to the sick; To give good things and a crown of eternal glory.
Your blessing traded for my cursing. Your grace exchanged for my selfishness. Your sacrifice while I was still a blasphemer. Lord, thank you for putting a new song in my heart and for your sacrificial love that extends always to the lame, blind, sick and poor. Because of your love, I walk, see, am healed and rich.
I am forgiven. I am grateful. I am free. Lord, I praise you that you made a way for sinners to enter into your presence. That you are always extending that white cloth dipped in blood and water to all of those who will call out your name. The name that saves. Jesus. The Name Above All Names. Thank you for words to speak, now that I know how to talk to you. You are teaching me. Willing and able. Help me to abide in your Truth and discern your voice clearly above the noise. Help me to listen well to you and others. Thank you for Wisdom, Truth and the Keys to your Kingdom. Oh, Lord. Thank you for loving me and making your love available to all.
I Remain Forever In Your Grace,
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this:
While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Since we have now been justified by his blood,
how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!
For if, while we were God’s enemies,
we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son,
how much more, having been reconciled,
shall we be saved through his life!
Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
through whom we have now received reconciliation.