I spent most of last week attending a pity party – mine. I allowed the Accuser to delve into my past and remind me of all kinds of incidents that had hurt me, angered me, and embarrassed me. He was very thorough.
I didn’t like what was happening, but I felt like I was entitled to some “poor me” time. A few people even told me it was okay to be down and depressed sometimes. Everyone gets run down, they said. You can’t be up all the time, especially when you’re so busy. I agreed. And I proceeded to slip further into that stinky pit of despair, recording all kinds of destructive emotions in my journal.
That word came through loud and clear. I scrambled for an excuse to give the Lord as He waited for my response. I had none.
“You don’t like what I’m doing in your life.” It was a statement, not a question.
“Um – not to sound ungrateful, but – no. I don’t like it at all.” At least I was being honest.
God was quiet for a moment. “There’s no Plan B, you know.”
“So you have to make the most of the only Plan there is. Your choice.”
“I don’t know how.”
“I’ll show you.”
By this point in the conversation, I was in tears. I knew I’d messed up and getting back on track is never easy. But God, in His gentle way, began to help me understand a few things.
“You’ve been a little self-centred.” He said. “And when you’re self-centred, you’re more focused on how you can get a better life rather than on how you can love Me.”
My nod was hardly discernable. I knew He was right, but who likes to hear that?
“I brought you out of that prison of self-centredness.” His voice was quiet. “I brought you out so I could bring you into the freedom of love.”
“Can you explain that?”
“Of course. Do you know that love has absolutely no meaning at all unless it remains alive when the one you say you love seems distant and uncommunicative?”
I’d never thought about love that way.
God continued. “The same is true with Me. If you love Me only when I answer your prayers and satisfy your desires right at the moment you ask, then your love is simply another form of self-centredness.”
“God, I’ve been guilty of that. I’m sorry.”
“I know you are. And I’ve already forgiven you.”
“But how do I change?”
“You trust. “
“Yes. Your love for Me will become trust when you choose to believe that I brought you out of something bad to bring you into something good – before you even experience that something good.” He paused. “Then your love is sustained by confidence in My character, not by enjoyment of whatever blessings may or may not come into your life.”
“I think I get it.”
“I knew you would.”
“You’re asking me to love You like that, Lord, but I don’t know if can.” I told Him. “The whole thing about respecting You for who You are, following You wherever You tell me to go, serving You with my whole heart, and obeying every command You give me – well – that’s pretty impossible.”
“It’s true, I have asked that of you. But I also knew that you weren’t capable of loving me like that, so I’ve always had a plan to do it for you.”
“Yes, my precious Son, Jesus. When I put the life of My Son, who always pleases Me, into your heart, you can love Me and serve Me as I have asked you to.”
“That is so awesome!” I told Him. “You are awesome!”
He smiled. “It’s what I promised to do. What My Son accomplished in His death and resurrection made it possible for My Spirit to change people’s hearts – to allow them to love Me even when I don’t satisfy them right away, because they trust Me.”
Our conversation ended and I knew the rest was up to me. I could choose to wallow in the dump, or I could trust God.
I’m so glad He never fails me.