Sunday, February 26, 2017

Broken Spirit

He called me away to spend a day alone with Him.

And my heart thrilled at the prospect of it.

It had been so very long since I had felt the closeness of His presence, and a seeming eternity since I had been down on my face in prayer, and my soul was utterly starving from a lack of spiritual nourishment.

There is a hunger that can never be satisfied apart from Him and my soul knows it all too well.

Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your unfailing love;
according to Your great compassion blot out my transgressions.
Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.
- Psalm 51:1-2

The distance had grown slowly over time. 

A catastrophic event had occurred that opened my eyes to the unmistakable presence of evil in this fallen world and the idyllic life I thought I was living, was from then on, shattered.  

It would take many years before I realized it, but soon after that moment of complete heartbreak, I had been set on a journey of walking in a barren wilderness.

My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart You will not despise.
- Psalm 51:17

It’s not that God had left me, I know He will never leave me and never forsake me, but it felt like one day a wall had been set between us that was impossible for me to climb and I was continually living in the shadow of it. 

Humbly, I’m reminded of some favorite words I’ve often heard Jill Briscoe say, 

“Sometimes God is hidden in the dark, but He is never at a distance.” 

Yes, I can see that. 

Though there may have been a wall between us, imagined or not, walls can be thin enough to hear through, thin enough to be sure there is Someone on the other side, and though it seemed I was walking in a dark and lonely place, He was right there all along, longing for my heart to return fully to Him.

Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
- Psalm 51:10

And so when I felt Him calling to me, to come and spend hours alone with Him, I was filled with so much hope. 

Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
- Psalm 51:12

But I was also afraid…  afraid of what He wanted to tell me, afraid that my heart had become so hard I would be unable to feel His tender touch upon it again, afraid that I had nothing left to offer that He could ever use for good.

But oh, God is so gracious and kind and His love for His children is truly without limits. 

We spent hours together in close communion and afterwards, my soul felt the refreshment it was absolutely aching for, and I knew without a doubt, things were finally about to change.

I’m expecting it will take many years before I discover all that He did for me on that day, and I imagine I may never know it all until I see Him face to face, but I know He cherished every tear that I cried and every prayer that poured out of my heart, and I know that He is ready to do a new thing in my life.

These are the words He had shared over and over with me in the weeks and days leading up to our sacred time together…

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland. 
- Isaiah 43:18-19

He has been so patient with me all these wandering years and now I believe He is taking my hand to gently lead me out of the wilderness into new places of discovery.

 Yes, He is doing a new thing, in my heart and in my life, and the fact that I’m writing again after more than a year, well, to me…

That’s just one small proof of it.

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