Monday, 27 October 2014

As The Ruin Falls

For this I bless you as the ruin falls. The pains
You give me are more precious than all other gains. (C.S. Lewis)
God wants my heart, broken. On the outside and to me it seems cruel, even senselessly so. But I believe that He who loves me best breaks to build. He empties to fill. He is tearing me apart, but I believe that he will build me up again. Who but He really knows this long, long hurt and the tearing and the emptiness in me? Who but He could choose this for me? Who but He could have the restraint and the wisdom to sit silently and wait with me in the dark, and resist the urge to comfort, to undo my breaking? Oh, it is a mystery. Yet Jesus who wept can never leave me alone. Jesus who bowed himself in the dirt and sweat and bled and cried - and asked "Why?" - He can be trusted with all that belongs to me.

And yet here, in the middle of all my hurt and my embarrassing weakness, I am hard pressed to give thanks with my heart. My faith is a groan, not a song. How to reconcile this desperate trapped flapping of mine with the freedom I have known in Christ?

My confusion cannot change the truth: He is working in me and for me. This breaking is blessing. Jesus of the Scars is the One who stays his hand from rescuing me. God-With-Us metes out my wounding. I don't know why He gives this. I don't know the reason for his silence, nor can I understand why He waits to change me. It is mysterious, but so is the truth that those who have not known emptiness never know the real joy of fullness, and only those who have been deeply humbled can be trusted to carry the great things that belong to God.

I trust Him. I trust Him. I will let him break me all apart. I will cry out all my tears into the bottle that God himself keeps. I will gather together all my broken pieces to worship Jesus the Wounded.

Lord, give me bravery bigger than the hard things. Give me long patience to wait for You all through this breaking. Send me faith that sees the light beyond this darkness. I will trust You for the future, but hold me as the ruin falls. I'm falling too: speak Your peace to me. Remind me that there is a Man beside You who bears nail prints in His hands. Tell me again how the slain Lamb reigns, and He waits for those He loves, and He is our all our shield and sun. 

And for this hopethank You. Let all my folding up and falling in lead me into such freedom and light.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

No Promise But Jesus

This was a hard week. A week full of trying and going forward and falling again. A week marked by rejection and deep-inside-weariness. Don't think it's just other people pulling me down - my number one enemy is my own weak and treacherous heart. You can't run away from yourself.

When my hurt seems to go on and on, and hope burns low, I think about Joseph sitting in that prison for years, and Abraham waiting around for a son until his life was almost all drained out, and I take heart again. "But," always comes the sidling whisper, "They could wait. Joseph had his dreams, and Abraham his promise..." And again I am undone. It's true that I have neither dream nor promise. Nothing tangible. Nothing to hold to.

"No promise but me." The voice of him who is Truth.

I have no dream. I have no promise...except who Jesus is. Jesus who knows the indignity of being tired and dirty and sad. Jesus the reject, the criticized, the used. I have what Joseph and Abraham never had.

I will hold tight to Emmanuel, the God who wept. He sees my long, long struggle, and my often failure. He will give me his good. I will remember: his mercy endures.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

The Way God Hurts

Oh God, I know that you afflict
in love,
and I would bear this hurt
and give you thanks -
but I am weak and flopping,
and I don't know how to do what I would

How can I blame you - you who hurt for me?
Yet it is hard to understand the way
God hurts
Because you are strong -
you chose your hurt, but I could not choose this
Give me the love that makes strong
enough to hurt

If I loved you better, I could seek you (and not the comfort
you can give)
Yet how?
I am trapped within myself - bound by my own lack of love
and made small by my own in-turned self

Rescue me
and let me love you;
make me brave to bear.