Well, I've done it again. I have spent weeks, perhaps months, struggling against releasing myself fully into God's hands. I've resisted the release: I've struggled against the repose that is mine through the inheritance provided me in Christ.
Because although I believe that God intends me good and not harm, I'm afraid He'll harm me for my good. And so I hold the Almighty at a distance while I struggle fruitlessly to put to rights the wrongs created by my own sin.
For years the words that have sprung to my lips when I enter into the Lord's presence are, "Here I am." But of late that kind of presenting myself to the Lord for His examination has been absent. "Here I am," is another way of saying "Take me and use me as You will." I'm fine with that portion of the release, but it is the implied, "Search me and correct what is wrong," that I've resisted. I'm afraid the correction will hurt.
This morning, once again, I was struggling in my devotion time when, in my mind, I heard the Lord say, "What do you not understand about 'never again'?"
You see, I've come through some difficult times in my life--not difficult compared to the life journeys of many others, but difficult, nonetheless. There are portions of my past that, having survived once, I never want to revisit. I know that God was with me. I can see that He brought me through wonderfully and with blessing. But I don't want to revisit the kind of suffering I once endured, and it is this fear the Lord addressed with me this morning.
Of the reluctance to release ourselves fully into God's hands Hannah Whitall Smith says, "We have most of us tried to do it for ourselves at first, and have grievously failed; then we discover from the Scriptures and from our own experience that it is a work we are utterly unable to do for ourselves, but that the Lord Jesus Christ has come on purpose to do it, and that He will do it for all who put themselves wholly into His hand, and trust Him to do it" (The Christian's Secret to a Happy Life, Hannah Whitall Smith, public domain).
Another Christian writer (my mother) said, "Continually look for things that remind us that God is in all things we see or experience. Don’t hold back from life in fear of being hurt—or of seeing or feeling things that are devastating to us. Sometimes these are the things [in which] we may find some of God’s work for us" (Anna Ruth's journal—July, 1962).
It is time to forget the things that are past and to move into the future in faith and trust in my Lord and my God. He hasn't let me down yet. I'm asking His forgiveness today for my lack of trust.
Here I am, Lord.
Scripture: "You will have plenty to eat, until you are full, and you will praise the name of the LORD your God, who has worked wonders for you; never again will my people be shamed" (Joel 2:26).
"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 desert and streams in the wasteland" (Isaiah 43:18-19).