5 Words in 1
When I focus on me I see my shortcomings, my flaws and failures — my response to this is to begin putting together solutions to fix that which is broken… only to completely and utterly fail again.
That only feeds the cycle to promote what I was preoccupied with in the first place.
When I turn my eyes upon Jesus, dwell on this undeserved yet unexplainable love…
When I begin to praise and worship Him for the way that He extends grace and pardon to me, I find that all those things I was trying to fix in my own power simply fall away.
Just as focus on myself brings on further self-hatred and frustration over, “not getting it right” focus on Jesus brings forth even more abundant praises, worship and gratitude.
If I ever could have, “fixed me” then why did He die on the cross?
The answer to healing was never found and what I could do but in what He has already done.
* * * * * * *
My heart cries, “Closer! I want a closer walk with You, Jesus!”
I realize that although I do walk closely with You that there is always a closer and it is this I desire above all else.
I am a finite being made up of finite space and so if I truly want more of You it will mean less of me.
Yet that doesn’t even seem like a choice anymore. I take an honest inventory of “me” and find…
It is “me” that has wrought destruction in my life and in the lives of others around me. It is “You” that has rebuilt that which was broken.
It is “me” who is empty, insatiable and always seeking more. It is “You” who satisfies my soul filling me beyond measure.
It is “me” who looks to my left and to my right unsure of where to go or what to do. It is “You” who gives me a sense of purpose and direction simply knowing that I know that I know.
It is me who sets limitations and draws boundaries based in fear and doubt. It is “You” who breaks down those boundaries based in fear and invites me to walk into the wide open spaces of selfless love.
It is “me” who looks at the seemly insurmountable obstacles and cries, “I can’t!”.
It is “You” who effortlessly scales those obstacles and declares, “I can!”
So when I say I want more of You I am taking on not only Your being but also those things You inherently bring.
Namely healing, fullness, direction, purpose, freedom and a measureless capacity to receive and give love.
Without You I am overcome. With You I am an overcomer.
* * * * * * *
For me there is no worse feeling than that of rejection. While love causes my heart to flourish, rejection makes it wilt.
I realize not all I feel is real but it is a fact that in this world we will all experience some form of rejection.
I ponder this in contrast to God’s love. In a lifetime of ups and downs, fears, tragedies, and losses He has never rejected me.
Through human love and loss He remains. In times of joy and in times of sorrow He is ever present. In life and in death He is there.
No one understood this better than the Apostle Paul. Perhaps it was his experiential understanding of God’s love and His faithfulness that inspired him to pen the words of Romans 8:38-39.
In this powerful declaration he leads off with the words, “I am convinced.”
This is to say that he had arrived to a conclusion and the matter was firmly established.
I too am convinced of this fundamental truth and it acts as an anchor to hold me fast in times of trouble.
Rejection? It is inevitable that in this world we will experience it but is this or any other trial capable of holding His ferocious love at bay?
In a world where we are sure to be forsaken, Jesus is the friend that sticks closer than a brother.
“38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord,” Romans 8:38-39 (NKJV).
* * * * * * *
Even in darkness
there is a light to be seen.
Wherever you go
there is no place He has not been.
When heartache prevails
and all seems to be lost.
Remember you have been redeemed
at an unimaginable cost.
Tragedy, pain, sadness and grief
He is familiar with them all.
It is for this reason He stood in the gap
to save you from the ultimate fall.
His love is ferocious
and it knows no end.
He sent His one and only Son
just so He could call you friend.
There is nothing… Absolutely NOTHING
that can keep you from His heart.
You are joined as one with Him in Jesus.
Never shall you part.
Remember that the trial leads to triumph
as sorrow leads to joy in the morn.
Just as birth pains precede new life
through it all you have been reborn.
* * * * * * *
Jesus, the doors of my heart are wide open to You.
I desire not only Your habitation. I submit to Your rulership.
This is not a hostile takeover. No, it is a complete and total surrender. I am nothing without You; empty, broken, dry, without meaning or purpose.
With You filling the sanctuary of my heart I understand who I am, my significance and Your deep and abiding love for me.
Your love is not just a concept. It is the greatest and most profound truth I know. Transformative!
Take the broken pieces of my heart and make them whole. Take the places within me ravaged by the consequences of sin and restore them… Innocent.
There is no healer like the Great Healer, no leader like the Captain of my heart, no king like the King of kings!
Thank you, Jesus!
~ Mitch Salmon