Yeah, I didn’t set that repentance section up quite how I wanted. I told people to talk to God, and I forgot to remind them to hear from Him. I spoke disjointed at times. And sharing the spoken word…never seems quite as powerful as when I share it with my cat 🙂
BUT…I am going to bed with a smile because God isn’t confined by my set-up, even if there’s room to improve. God’s freedom has never depended on me, and doesn’t now. He was at work, despite my fumbling.
I am going to bed with a smile because it was stupid-hard to replace “we” with “I” and fully repent my own sins in a co-ed crowd, but I was obedient.
Yeah, I don’t have great stories about lives or hearts changed, but there is that contented joy in the obedience. Finding joy in obedience, not the outcome, is the key to getting off the crazy-train of emotional highs and lows. I’m learning that it’s not so much about my life mattering to the world as it is it mattering to Him. And I am convinced that in a few days, at least a few people will look back on that moment and mark it as the moment some sin lost its grip.
The verses that helped me beat back the darkness of fear:
When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”
5 Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”
6 When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. 7 So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.
8 When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” 9 For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, 10 and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners.
Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” 11 So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.
My response can be so much like Peter’s. “Go away. Use someone else! I am a sinner. Last night I told you I didn’t understand the empathy-pain-pit that you made me that I had to fall asleep with again. I don’t deserve to be used and to be close to you.” But God’s response to our recognizing our inadequacy to be used? “Don’t be afraid. From now on you will fish for poets and artists. Leave everything and follow me.” We can’t catch fish on our own, but with Him? He can do all things. And He chooses to do all things, even through unworthy sinners.
8 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
“Shame is a bully, but grace is a shield” -Ann Voskamp