The Doors.

O LORD,

Thou knowest my great unfitness for service,
my present deadness,
my inability to do anything for thy glory,
my distressing coldness of heart.

Help my soul to breathe after holiness,
  after a constant devotedness to thee,
  after growth in grace more abundantly every day.

O Lord, I am lost in the pursuit of this blessedness,
And am ready to sink because I fall short
of my desire;

Help me to hold out a little longer,
until the happy hour of deliverance comes,
for I cannot lift my soul to thee
  if thou of thy goodness bring me not nigh.

Help me to be diffident, watchful, tender,
lest I offend my blessed Friend
in thought and behaviour;

I confide in thee and lean upon thee,
and need thee at all times to assist and lead me.

O that all my distresses and apprehensions
  might prove but Christ’s school
to make me fit for greater service
by teaching me the great lesson of humility.

— Need of Grace, Valley of Vision

For Your mercy in keeping some doors shut, not relenting no matter how hard I tried to pry them open.
(Even now.)
May I live to see Your wisdom.
And until then, to rejoice in Your ways.

And to rest in faith and hope and love, as a child.
Yours.

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Space

The pause between words.
The distance between two people.
That moment before you make a choice.

So many times, I wish I had filled it with grace.
I wish I had stepped closer and said farewell with a little more grace.

I wish I had turned to overcome fear and asked those questions that get at the heart.

I wish I had smiled.
And said that I do see.

Space.
My gallery of unwanted pieces.
My apologies for the times I’ve unwittingly gifted these pieces.
I’ve often wished to take them back.
But who knows. Maybe we’re all masters of the same craft.

But now, enough navel-gazing and onto something more important:

There is this other space, this hole, this gap we feel.  We do feel it, all of us. We may have partially filled it with the pursuit of things, of milestones, of life achievements, with the general ‘busy’… We may numb it with music, with crowds, with ideas, and other things that help us forget.
But it is there.
If you’re honest with yourself, no matter how much you have and how much you’ve done, you can’t fill it. And you wonder if that’s how it’s supposed to be.

Pascal described in Pensées once:

“What else does this craving, and this helplessness, proclaim but that there was once in man a true happiness, of which all that now remains is the empty print and trace? This he tries in vain to fill with everything around him, seeking in things that are not there the help he cannot find in those that are, though none can help, since this infinite abyss can be filled only with an infinite and immutable object; in other words by God himself.”

Friend. You see, we were made to feel that gap, so that we might seek to fill it. But long story short, it is a fool’s errand if we try it our way.

“He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.”  (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

  We were made to find the answer, and there is only One:

“Just as a square peg cannot fill a round hole, neither can the “God-shaped hole” inside each of us be filled by anyone or anything other than God. Only through a personal relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ can the “God-shaped hole” be filled and the desire for eternity fulfilled.” [1]

So that, friend, is the answer to the great emptiness we feel.

(But for that space which I gave you when I should have given grace… May He give more grace — grace to forgive and courage to care)
I’ve been strong
And I’ve been broken within a moment
I’ve been faithful
And I’ve been reckless at every bend
I’ve held everything together
And watched it shatter
I’ve stood tall and I have crumbled
In the same breath
I have wrestled
And I have trembled toward surrender
Chased my heart adrift
And drifted home again
Plundered blessing
Till I’ve been desperate to find redemption
And every time I turn around
Lord You’re still there
Who am I
To think Your glory needs my praises
But if this borrowed breath is Yours Lord
Take it all
You are faithful and You are gracious
And I’m just grateful
To think You don’t need a single thing
And still You want my heart
I was found
Before I was lost
I was Yours
Before I was not
You wear the scars
For all my mistakes
And I know I don’t deserve this kind of love
Somehow this kind of love is who You are
It’s a grace I could never add up
To be somebody You still want
But somehow
You love me as You find me

 

[1] https://www.gotquestions.org/God-shaped-hole.html