October 31, 2013

A Choosy Beggar

He sat by the sidewalk, dark leathery hands outstretched.
"Help me get a meal?" he asked us as we passed. So we turned, and we offered him the hearty remains of our recent lunch. His eyes fell on our gift, and his face fell as well. "No thanks," he said, backing away, "I don't like that kind of food. It just doesn't agree with me."

Half relieved we'd get to keep our food, half indignant that he'd dare turn it away, we walked on. Judgment seared across my heart. Beggars can't be choosers. I guess he wasn't very hungry, after all. 

I am the beggar. I extend my empty hands, pleading for more of God's presence in my life. When His own hands open to pour out His gifts, I balk at them. "No thanks, Father. I don't like that discomfort. I don't like this sickness or loneliness or season of waiting. I will not praise You for the mundane, the dead-end job,  the less-than-ideal. It just doesn't agree with me."

I push against what He offers— not leftovers to fill the belly, but sovereignly crafted means to fill me with more of Himself. I guess I didn't want His power in my life much after all.

Oh that I would graciously allow His strength to be magnified in my weakness.1 That I would learn to accept His mercies in every form, rejoicing that "He whose heart is kind beyond all measure gives unto each day what He deems best."2

Lord, help me not to be a choosy beggar.

October 3, 2013

Here's My Heart, Lord

I’m a lost cause. I don’t fit in anywhere. I will always fail at this. God has forgotten about me. All this work is for nothing. I don’t deserve this pain. Everything is against me. Nothing’s ever certain. It’s all a lie. There’s no hope. I have nothing to hold on to. 

By the end of a hard day, lies have crept into my heart. They're half-truths, subtle whispers that I begin to accept and live.

I find myself in desperate need of a daily day’s-end reset. I need renewal in the fashion of Romans 12:2. Like a guitar played too long without rest, my heart strings need to be tuned afresh.

This song has been powerful for me in those times of tuning. I gather my Bible and my journal, and pray these lyrics before opening the Word. I’m pausing to consider what lies I’ve accepted over the course of the day. I’m saying “Here’s my heart, Lord. Remove all these prideful, faithless thoughts. Replace them with your Word. Speak what is true.”