God has been taking me on a journey of painful renewal over the past year and a half. My spirit has been restless for a number of reasons, and my faithfulness has been put to the test. I wish I could say that I have passed this test with flying colors, but I cannot. For one thing, I’m still in the fire of refinement. For another, I have been stubborn and even lazy when it comes to my relationship with Jesus. I know what He’s asking me to do, but I just don’t want to do it. Sometimes, it hurts to be obedient. It hurts to be faithful. It hurts to be humble. It hurts to forgive. These are the things I have been struggling against.
The aggravating thing is that I have gone through much of this before and have pushed through to experience victory in Christ. The peace and joy that come on the heels of my choice to be faithful are a heady reward indeed–worth every heartache. So, I guess this current season proves that I am a slow learner. Again.
I want to share a portion of one of my recent journal entries with you. My hope is that you will feel encouraged by it. Perhaps you even know someone who might be blessed to know that they, too, are not alone.
The kids and I went to an Iron Bell concert at the church last night. It was a beautiful time of worship. I regret that I still sometimes feel self-conscious during corporate worship, and I wish I did not. Why do so many of us care how other people respond to You in praise? I don’t know, but I sometimes struggle against the voices in my head. Please forgive me when I focus more on them than on You.
The Iron Bell song that most grabbed my heart last night was “Sons and Daughters”. The guitarist shared a beautiful testimony of the first time he really understood You to claim him as Your son. This song is an outpouring of that moment, and it just reinforces, over and over, the pure and joyful love that God has for us. One of the phrases God speaks in the song is,
I sought you,
You were lost.
You were worth the cost.
That got my attention. The cost was the cross! The cost was the betrayal, the torture, the humiliation, the abandonment and the brokenness that culminated in the brutal crucifixion of Your Son! My heart screams, “Why, Lord? Why was I worth it to You? Why would You do that for me?”
And I know in my heart that it is because You love me as Your daughter. No price was too great for You to pay for my salvation. This is such a humbling realization While I understand the sacrificial love of a parent, this kind of love–Your kind of love for me–is beyond my comprehension.
I don’t fully understand why some people don’t have parents who pursue relationships with their children. I don’t understand why some parents check out or give up. The abandonment/neglect/favoritism that some children experience from their parents leaves a hole that is not easily filled.
If only each of us could truly grasp that we have been chosen by You. I am treasured by You. I am enough for You.
When my kids were little, I sang over them and I danced with them. If they weren’t so appalled by these demonstrations now, I would probably still outwardly do these things with them. Instead, I do them inwardly. Songs of thanksgiving in my heart. Dances of praise and wonder and hope. The Iron Bell song I mentioned talks about You singing and dancing when You think of me. This is such a beautiful and humbling picture for my heart. Thank You, Lord.
I know that there are some people who have never had a parent sing and dance over them. To be honest, there are people who have never had a parent think of them with any tenderness at all. This song reminds me, though, that You are more than enough of a Father for the fatherless.
And, since You are also the Giver of all good things, I pray that You will restore broken relationships. That You will bring the lost to Yourself and restore him to his family. Thank You for being able to do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine.
Check out “Sons and Daughters” by Iron Bell Music.