Updated: Dec 14, 2018
October 13, 2018
I recently messed up. I mess up every day, don’t get me wrong. This time was more disappointing to me, though. It was one of those times when I was praising God that my constant struggle wasn’t flaring up in times of stress like it normally would. The very next moment…I was staring in the face of temptation and stood there long enough for it to wash over me.
Arrogance was certainly a culprit. Quickly and quietly my mind switched from giving God all credit as my source of strength to “I am strong enough to overcome this temptation.” Wrong. Terribly wrong. What I would like to think were hurricane force winds I was up against, was really more of a breezy, autumn day. Goes to show who the strong One is…
One of my favorite pastors, Kenny Hall, constantly reminds us that we were not made to resist temptation which is why God says all throughout the Bible to flee temptation.
Immediately, I regretted my actions and attitude and slumped away from God. I didn’t want Him to see me. I didn’t want to face His disappointment in me. When I finally came around to talking to Him, all I could do was blubber one apology after another. I was sincerely sorry, but more so, I didn’t want to hear what He had to say. I kept waiting for an “I told you so” or a “look what you’ve done.” Instead, being the loving Father He is, God wrapped His arms around me and revealed that He wasn’t mad at me but He was hurt. I am His daughter and seeing me step right into temptation and mistakes breaks His heart. Growing up in church and youth camps, this wasn’t new information, but the reality of it clicked in that moment and broke my heart. Not in a guilt-trip, failure way, but in a way that echoed...
“break my heart for what breaks Yours.”
Consequences follow every action. I would say that these actions drove me to push God away. What more upsetting consequence could a person suffer than to be far from God? Resting in God switches to resting in pitfalls, confidence sinks along with standards, and the emptiness is unbearable. No words come close to expressing my gratitude to have a Father that pursues us. He leaves the ninety-nine for the one.
A journal entry from this morning…
“Thank you for how You love me. I mess up so much and do not deserve it. I’m weak and You are always my strength – yet You do not get tired of it. I’ve really been afraid of how I disappointed You with my actions and attitude. I keep expecting something horrible to happen. These actions will have consequences, that I know. But, Lord, I keep expecting Your ‘told you so’ in the form of the worst punishments because I knew better than to do what I did. But, God, you really are my Father. It broke Your heart to see me make those mistakes. You reminded me of the severe consequences those actions could bring on, yet you wrapped Your arms around me to show me I am loved and so valuable to You. I am not a failure. I do not need to settle for less. I am still and always will be Your daughter. I can do nothing to deserve it. For the first time I am seeing how humbling it is just to accept Your grace – nothing held over my head, no ‘I told you so,’ just love from the most perfect Father.
I love you too.”