But then, when I finally do stop, out of mental breath or plain exhausted by my ridiculousness, He will respond, and what He says is (no surprise) basically the most perfect response ever:
"Are you done?"
If you've experienced this (as I'm sure most if not all of you have!), you know what an unspeakable relief it is just to hear those three words from God. I can't even explain it, but, since reading about that being the Lord's reaction in various books and things, I've started recognizing it when He says that. And He does say it--not in a ridiculing, impatient, stern way, but in an affectionate, level-headed, redirecting sort of way. He lets you have your "cry," lets you release all the pent-up self-confusion and frustration and self-induced misery, and then He shifts your focus. He says, "C'mon, girl, you know better than this. You're imperfect, certainly, but I am working in you. I'm not giving up on Us. Pick yourself up and act like the daughter of the King of Kings that you actually are."
The healing starts just in His listening, really, doesn't it? He allows you to rant and rail nonsensically, but He starts to pour His healing in while we are still doing so. "Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear." It all starts as the small, still voice: a gradual calming of one's spirit, a gradual change of perspective. He shows us that sometimes revelation is reached not by the giving of an answer, but by your pouring out what's in your heart and then experiencing His reaction to that outpouring. We are taking our own issues very, very seriously (to paraphrase Craig Bernthal), and is it possible that we sometimes allow our own perceptions--of our own sins, habits, things we dislike about ourselves and feel might be a hindrance to our relationship with the Lord--to take root in us and rise up as a stem of egocentricity? Even if we feel we are conducting deep soul-searching and trying honestly to get rid of anything that might separate us from our Savior, are we in reality just focusing on the wrong things? Are we missing the point?
"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." I think a common misconception we have--at least, one that I have very often--is how available or unavailable God is to us at any given moment. We measure our ability to draw close to God by how worthy we are. God help us--have we even known Him at all? Have we never truly realized the miracle of Calvary? It is always our human nature that limits the availability of God's love. He is always, ALWAYS there--simply being and loving and caring for the world--and, as Catherine Marshall put it, He is not trying to prove anything, because He knows. He has already proven everything. The Savior is always living right by our side, and the issue is not that He is too busy or too holy to come close to us, but that we think (subconsciously) that He is…or that we are. Through Christ's intercession, we always have complete, unequivocal access to the throne of grace. Do we truly understand this phenomenon? The God of all creation is right here, right now, with us. He INVITES us to come into His presence--filthy sinners though we are. The full power of God--His love, His grace, His redemption--is always, constantly, 24/7 available to us, only a prayer away. So reach out and touch Him, lean into Him, snuggle up against your Daddy's chest, for He has invited you to. "Come near to God and He will come near to you."
This beautiful catharsis God initiates--this outpouring of human limitation--to be met by the limitless love of Jesus Christ, is how we can find peace in the midst of life, in the midst of the sanctification process. After we freak out, He whispers gently but firmly, "There is not a new answer, but the one I've always given--get your mind off all your worries and self, and back to focusing on Me, and the job We're doing together."
"Amen. Come, Lord Jesus."
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Well. That was a very long post O_O If you read all the way through it, kudos to you and I really do appreciate it. Looking forward to seeing (and posting ;D) all the Valentine's Day posts tomorrow! And I love you guys <3 Y'all are the best.