It's inevitable, that we'll find ourselves face down on the ground, spitting dirt, from time to time. Such has been my week.
And it's also inevitable, that the enemy we face in the spiritual realms, being the opportunist he is, will kick you when you're down. And kick you hard.
These occurrences are as likely as Murphy's law.
I had messed up, harming a friendship and my self-confidence. And the enemy, being the said opportunist he is, began telling me all sorts of accusations to break me down, to cause me to give up on myself.
A myriad of emotions can hit us when we hit the ground. Depression. Doubt. Fear. Then skipping right along behind...anger.
That's where I finally got. I became angry at the unfairness of the situation. Sure, we make mistakes, but why does the punishment for it have to seem so severe at times? And maybe it's because I was an only child who rarely got in trouble while growing up, but I don't do well with discipline. Actually, I simply hate for people to be disappointed with me. Even when I was a child, I did my best to please everyone, and it's something I haven't grown out of much.
So my sadness over what I'd caused turned to anger. Not just irritation, but a real temper-tantrum fit. "This isn't fair. I'm done, Lord. I want no more to do with people. I'm not going to do this anymore. When I screw up, the consequences are too severe and I can't handle when I hurt someone. I can't. I wont! Don't ask me again!! Do you hear me, God? Don't ask me to befriend another of your lost children. You'll have to find someone else more qualified to do that."
And I meant it. Foot stomping included... when nobody was looking.
And yet... right in the midst of my fit throwing, He gave me a picture. A mental image of what he thought about my situation.
Sometimes, I can hear his quiet voice speaking, sometimes I feel a nudge. Many times, I see a picture that conveys what God wants to say to me.
He could have been angry right back. It's what I deserved. Instead, he showed me that he was holding me and loving on me despite all the emotions swirling tornadically and tearing up my heart and spirit. He showed me that I was cradled in his arms, and it was okay for tears to flow and dampen his shirt. It was okay to fall limp in his arms. He had me. He wouldn't let go. His love would keep me secure no matter what happened or how I felt about it.
And isn't that his way? To love when we are unlovable? To comfort when we rage? To be compassionate when we sully up and feel full of hate?
During this time, He showed me a verse from Psalm 103:8-12
The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever,
he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgression from us.
Father God, thank you for your forgiveness, for loving me when I'm unlovable. For pulling me into your arms when I'm hurting, when wounds have been banged and ache. Thank you for showing me how you feel about me, your compassion, your grace and mercy reign forever in my life. May it reign in the lives of others who read this story and understand that you love them even during their unlovable times as well. We thank you. Amen!
pictures: Fallen Warrior and Cry Out To Jesus created by myself.