Thursday, March 21, 2013

Recalling, Remembering, Rehearsing {Lent Day #38}

Her text message was urgent and despairing. Anxious, uncomfortable, wanting to hide.  She's a thousand miles away this week, so a phone date had to suffice.  Stuck and hopeless.  I urged her to reach out and be honest with another ~ no more hiding, no more shadow-living, no more deceiving.

Nope. Not happening.  It's too much to unload on someone.  It's not fair to them.  They'll come to wrong conclusions.  I'm so much more a mess than everyone else. I don't want to burden anyone with this.

Urging and then praying for this dear one while I had her on the line was all I could do.  She hung up in quiet, hopeless tears, even more ashamed that she'd bothered me ~ which wasn't the case.

An excited message came this morning.  The one I had urged her to reach out to, reached out to her instead. This one who knew nothing of the situation said that the Holy Spirit nudged her to do it.  A seemingly irresistible and urgent nudge to reach out to a mere acquaintance, she had to follow through.  They talked for hours.  They were honest about their pain and struggles.  There was connection, ministry, fellowship, healing, hope.

She was "blown away" and in utter amazement that the God she keeps running from just keeps on pursuing her anyway.

I urged her some more...

Write this down.  Journal this experience.  We tend to forget His many kindnesses to us.  Next week we'll be having another episode of hopelessness, despair, and defeat if we don't remember what He's done this week.

But you know what?  I write almost everything down.  I have stacks of journals filled with prayers, desperate pleas, and specific answers dating back about 20 years, but I still forget His kindnesses to me.

I forget how stuck and despairing I was when He answered so sweetly and perfectly.

I choose not to recall how many times He provided exactly what was needed at exactly the right time.

I rehearse my complaints rather than His faithfulness.

What He does for me is never enough for me ~ even when its extravagant, specific.

Lord, I confess this attitude of entitlement to You.  I beg for mercy and deliverance and provision, and You give them, but then my gratitude never matches my desperation.  I take it for granted and act as if it ought to be that way ~ always. I'm really never totally content in Your salvation or Your many gifts to me.  I always want more ~ often without a thought as to just how much you've already given.  Help me to recall Your faithfulness, Your abundant gifts of grace, Your patience, Your overwhelming provision.

Again and again they tempted God, and pained the Holy One of Israel.  They did not remember His power, the day when He redeemed them from the adversary...

...but He led forth His own people like sheep and guided them in the wilderness like a flock; He led them safely, so that they did not fear; but the sea engulfed their enemies.
Psalm 78: 41, 52-53

Remember my affliction and my wandering, the wormwood and bitterness.  Surely my soul remembers, and is bowed down within me.  This I recall to mind, therefore I have hope.  The Lord's lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3: 19-23

Reminds me of this Sara Groves song that I love...

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