Sunday, January 20, 2008

Clean Heart - 3 - One Step Forward

"I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely..." Hosea 14:4

The Lord promises to heal my backslidings, my mistakes, and my struggles. On top of that, He promises to love me freely.

This couldn't have come at a better time. I have been struggling with many issues. I often feel like a failure. I just am not really good at any one thing, it seems.

Today, my eggs didn't have that perfect look. I made stuffed eggs for the pot-luck at church, and even piped the yolks into the whites to give them a bit of flair. They just didn't turn out the way I imagined. They were NOT perfect.

The drive to church was stressful. Poor visibility. I couldn't find a kleenex for my drippy nose. Then Rick snapped at me when I suggested that he wipe the steering wheel with the anti-bacterial wipe. (He hates being distracted when he is driving. I know this. I shouldn't have done it.) So I snapped back at him, then felt bad about it. I wasn't the perfect wife.

My soup turned out fine, but Darlene's bread was amazing. How does she make wheat-free bread with such a good texture? And to top it all off, it tasted good. I have not baked much since going on a gluten-free diet. I feel like a failure in that area, too.

The list goes on, but I won't bore you with the details. Suffice it to say, I had a blue day. I was reminded again and again of my sinful nature. Ugh.

Then, I came home and read this devotional.

The prayer is, "Lord, I pray that You will pull me ahead and help me to remain focused on You so that I will not continue to backslide further and further. Bring me to where I need to be so I no longer struggle daily from my past faults and inadequacies. Restore me at last! Let me feel the love that You give freely. Help me remember I am special and loved, even when I don't feel lovable."

The amazing thing is that God knew that I would need to hear this today. He knew that Pastor Bob and his wife would need to hear the story of Adoniram Judson today, too. In spite of my sin, God used this weak vessel to encourage our dear friends. In spite of my inadequacies, I am loved and valued by friends and family.

So, get thee behind me, Satan. Stop trying to pull me into the depths of despair. I know the truth about myself, but I also know that the Blood of my Saviour covers a multitude of (MY) sins.

You can't separate me from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus.

And while the lamp holds out to burn,
The vilest sinner may return. ~Isaac Watts

Thank you, Lord, for holding the lamp of your Word out, so that I may return.

Live while you live, the epicure would say,
And seize the pleasures of the present day;
Live while you live, the sacred preacher cries,
And give to God each moment as it flies.

Lord in my views, let both united be:
I live in pleasure when I live to thee.

~Philip Doddridge

Thank you, Lord, for showing me anew,
That life is worth the living when done unto YOU.

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