Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Thank You, My Faithful God

Dearest Lord,
I thought You had moved away from me.
I thought You had deserted me,
     leaving me alone to face the dark threats
              of an alien world.
I thought You were done with me,
     that You had had enough of me,
              my pride, my hardheadedness,
              my determination to be in control.
I couldn't find You in the places I looked,
     because I saw only what I wanted to see.
I did not wait and listen for Your Shepherd's voice to call me
     and lead me to You.
I didn't have enough faith in Your love.
I based Your love on my experience with fragile, human love,
              instead of remembering and trusting Jesus’ example
              of unconditional, sacrificial love, an in-spite-of love, 
              which originated with You, Creator God that You are.
But, Gracious, Heavenly Father, now I know…
You were there beside me, in front of me, behind me
     all the time I felt troubled, abandoned and lost.
I just couldn't see You because my eyes were too focused
     on solving my own problems and rescuing myself
     from uncomfortable situations with my own puny, human resources.
I couldn't see You because I was too busy just being busy,
     trying to fix those annoying, bothersome worries of doubt and despair.
Yes, I thought You were ignoring me, Lord,
     but the truth is—it was I who was ignoring You with my busyness,
              my belief and insistence on my own powers and abilities.
I couldn't see You because of my own self-importance and egoism.
Then, in my futile frustration, I panicked and lowered my defenses.
I forgot to call on You;  I left my spiritual armor in my closet.
I went out into a hostile world without the belt of truth around my waist,
     without the breastplate of righteousness across my chest,
     without the shoes from the gospel of peace I needed,
     without my shield of faith, my helmet of salvation, my sword of the Spirit.
Lord, how did I ever think I could withstand attacks from the forces of evil?
     How did I ever think I could be a worthy adversary for Satan himself?
     Without my spiritual armor, I was vulnerable and couldn't prevent
              him from feeding my insecurities, my doubts, my unbelief.
I didn't  rush to You at the first sign of weakness.
I didn't go to You in prayer; nor did I renew my spiritual resources, 
      my spiritual strength by reading and studying Your Holy Word.
I didn't go to my prayer journal to pour out my confessions to You.
But You, O Lord, You did not leave me; I know You will never leave me.
You will always love me, protect me, and lift me up when I come to You.
Still, I must remember that I freely decide whether or not I come to You.
When You made me, You gave me the awesome  gift of free choice;
You gave me the right to decide if I want to surrender my will to Yours,
     and allow You to rule my heart and my life.
Lord, when will I ever learn that I will never have inner peace
     until I let You be the Controller of my life,
      until I study and follow Your Word as my guide,
     until I let the Holy Spirit work within me,
     until I surrender all parts of my being to You?
Thank You for Your patience, Your guidance, Your love.
Teach me to be the person You created me to be;
Teach me to bring glory and honor to Your name in all I do.
I am coming to You, Lord; I am coming to You. 
I give You my life, and I will be Your child and do Your Will.
                                                                        In Christ’s name, I pray.