"Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye." Acts 7:51 (KJV)
When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth. Acts 7:53 (KJV)
Why the rage? The truth was too much for the heart. Is too much. The law is written into it and pokes that finger of Guilt over again. Bruising. Damaging. Killing. Truth approaches and the desire is to lash out from the pain. I don't rage because I'm innocent. I rage because I'm not and can't stand it. I want an excuse. I want the accusations to stop.
I'm a baddy
She's a baddy
Wouldn't you like to admit you're a baddy, too.
If I'm not that bad, why does the pride leap out of my chest in defense? All claws and teeth. Ready to strike.
Stay away, Spirit. Nothing to see here. Go away.
No, no no.
I am totally justified in my action, word, thought.
Do not come closer.
I'm good. I'm good. I'm good.
Have ya looked at the sin over there?
Pshh, this is nothin'
Seroiusly, don't come closer.
The law squeezes. Condemns. Holds a mirror, saying, "You've got a lot of something on that stiff neck of yours."
It's a hard thing to want to see.
But the gospel comes in.
Stops us cold on the road.
But Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven shone around him. And falling to the ground he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. Acts 9:1-5
Revealing the other side to our need. The cure. The Savior. The freedom.
It hushes the heart. Be still. Over and over, be still.
But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ's gift.
From Rev. C.H. Spurgeon (via spurgeon.org)
'And now, lastly, poor sinner, has sin made thee unfit for heaven? Grace shall render thee a fit companion for seraphs and the just made perfect. Thou who art to-day lost and destroyed by sin, shalt one day find thyself with a crown upon thy head, and a golden harp in thine hand, exalted to the throne of the Most High. Think, O drunkard, if thou repentest, there is a crown laid up for thee in heaven. Ye guiltiest, most lost and depraved, are ye condemned in your conscience by the law? Then I invite you, in my Master's name, to accept pardon through his blood. He suffered in your stead, he has atoned for your guilt and you are acquitted. Thou art an object of his eternal affection, the law is but a schoolmaster, to bring thee to Christ. Cast thyself on him. Fall into the arms of saving grace. No works are required, no fitness, no righteousness, no doings. Ye are complete in him who said, "It is finished.'
Relief flows in tears, not rage.
Apologies to Benji Magness for leapfrogging off his tweet today.
some days the only prayer i can mutter is, "please don't let me be a screw-up my ENTIRE life"
Depression crawls in and makes itself at home.
the accuser whispers "fail, fail, fail..." and soon all that's heard is "fail, fail, fail..."
My first instinct when things seem to be unravelling in life, with my sons, in my marriage is to scramble to find the perfect answer or fix. Give me the solution! But, it's hard to even clearly see just what that might be with the repeated mantra running through my head, fail, fail, fail. And I most likely have failed, after all. This would be the blog that never ends if I were to recount for you all of my massive failings as a wife, mother, daughter, friend. "Yes, it goes on and on, my friends." I'm not looking for kind reassurances that I am not a total screw-up. It's just difficult to pull out of the sticky tar that I fall into with each misstep.
That's just it. I can't pull myself out. When I want so badly to time-travel (quick, get me to the Orchid station) and start fresh as a mother so I can do it right this time, it's easy to get defeated. When I consider all the women around me who ARE doing it right and I can't seem to figure out their magic. When I'm stumbling around making a bigger mess in the name of fixing it. But God, in His love, wants me to rest in Him first. Before I wrack my brain for the perfect fix. Before I forget where He has already brought me from, messy life and all. Stopping to place myself in His grace should be the first instinct.
The circumstances do not change and my depression doesn't necessarily leave, but I can have certainty that it doesn't have to overtake me this time. The Holy Spirit is infinitely more wise than I. So, Spirit, go before me to do what I can never do in ways I could never think of. Lord, help me remember and practice this, because I am so weak. And forgive me all my failings.
You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it.
Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me.
If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light about me be night,”
even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is bright as the day,
for darkness is as light with you.
Psalm 139:5-10 (ESV)