How did I get here?

I came home from Embracing Life tonight full of the love of the Father, and I feel like He asked me to write this. I hope it ministers to you.  It’s a little embarrassing.  He must increase, I must decrease.

I’m not sure how I got here, but it’s wonderful.

I can remember often being embarrassed to pray in front of my wife, as if I was supposed to have all the answers or be able to solve all the problems.  I was afraid to seek God with her.  Maybe I wouldn’t do it right?  Maybe it would be awkward?  What if I didn’t pray as well as the pastor or other ‘spiritual’ people?  As I write, the Lord is reminding me of countless times when I had to make an intentional decision to step out of my embarrassment and do it anyway.  There were more failures than successes.  But I feel like each decision I made to step out in faith overcame a hundred times when I retreated into my fears and shame.  And I still have to make this choice constantly.  And it’s still hard.  And I still fail.  A lot.

And now the Lord is reminding me of the many times where I did turn to him, but could not discern his answer.  There is an inherent betrayal in this.  Everything I know about God says it is not a betrayal in reality, but when you pour out your heart to God in desperation and hear no response, it sure feels like it.  I am left with nothing to offer to my wife.  Sometimes “I don’t know, we’ll have to trust that God will lead us” is all I can offer to her.  I used to feel defeated when this happened.  Now I know this is an invitation to press in and trust.  He is faithful to answer.  But sometimes not in the way or at the time we want.  Answers come more often now, but not all the time. Probably not even most of the time.  But peace while waiting for an answer does come more frequently.

My Father is now brininging to mind the times when I took risks to have new experiences with him.  When I began to type a question to God in my journal, and then on the next line typed “God:” and continued by typing whatever his still, small voice seemed to be saying.  Often I heard nothing.  But occasionally wisdom way beyond my own poured out through my fingertips. These are sacred moments.  I remember when I was first willing to kneel, or raise my arms, or walk up to the front during worship at church, when the position of my body affected the posture of my heart.  He is reminding me of the first time I tried to give someone a “word” while praying for them up front.  I feel like I fell flat on my face. ‘I’ll just stick to sharing bible verses next time!’  But I tried again.  On another try, I felt led to ask someone about unconfessed sin in their life.  It was scary and I was timid, but I risked.  And God moved.  His neck and back problem was healed after 10 years of consistent pain.

Now God is showing me how I used to see my “quiet time” as a religious activity I performed (inconsistently) in order to feel good about myself and check it off my “good boy” list.  Honestly, I still struggle here.  But now?  Oh my.  He is teaching me how to have relationship.  So this is what intimacy is!  My constant friend and loving Father, with me, waiting to reveal himself at any and every moment, with a heart of love toward me!  The joy of the Lord has taken up residence in my heart.  Each day is an adventure in seeing how His Kingdom rule is going to break in.

Yes Lord, my attitude used to be, “tell them the truth and let the chips fall where they may!”  I didn’t care about hearts; I cared about being right.  In my insecurity, I needed everyone to agree with me and acknowledge my wisdom.  But something undeserved has happened.  The Father has allowed me to feel his heart for some of his precious ones.  To love them with his deep, passionate, redeeming love.  To rejoice when they rejoice, and to weep when they weep.  To cry out for them in prayer, to grab their hand and lead them before His throne of grace.

I’m not sure how I got here.  And there is so much further to go.  All of these weaknesses still hang around to some extent.  When will I stop whoring after the approval of others?  When will I stop chasing false loves that won’t satisfy me?  I don’t know, but I am filled with hope!  “He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it.”  That is his promise. He loves me and He is able to do exceedingly more than we ask or imagine.

But I have to say yes.  I have to risk.  I must decide to choose Him over my embarrassment, my shame, and my weakness.  What is character?  What is spirituality?  What is maturity?  It is the result of the countless choices to say yes to God even when we are afraid.  Father, forgive me for the even more times when I have caved to and made false peace with fear.  I want to say yes to you with all of my heart.  Expand your presence in my heart.

How did I get here?  I don’t deserve it.  I didn’t earn it.  I took the risk to say yes a few times when it was scary.  He did the rest.  And it’s wonderful.  May His name be praised.
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1 Comment

  1. Deanna Monzon

     /  November 22, 2010

    Powerful and beautiful, Dave! How God rejoices when we seek Him above all else and take those often tiny steps of faith! Thanks for humbling yourself to share in honesty.

    Reply

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