(#181 from Suffer Well Devotional Series©)
In moments of victory the songs come so freely. The ability to rejoice seems so natural. Yes, an overflow of the heart (Hebraically, the “center of intellect”) is what causes me to sing. At the times when the pain seems to overtake me, like a wave I cannot get on top of, the songs become forced. These are the times when I cry out to you Abba. I am expecting a “crossing over”. Is it not what You promise? Am I amiss to believe a place exists wherein my heart would never drown in sorrow?
You tell me of the eternal things and I try to comprehend. The thought of the wife once mine, and the children that now wonder what happened, hinders my ability to see the glorious Promised Land. While I sit in prison, they grow. They grow without me; their bodies take on a new shape; their words become more intelligent. I am missing so much time that can never be recaptured. I do blame myself as I accept the responsibility for why the chastening rod has fallen. But I have changed. Will I be allotted Your mercy like so many others in the past?
These feelings are mixed with a heart that understands that complete surrender to You is what we all must face. This reality won’t change; it only causes me to speak much less. Full surrender of one’s life means it is not one’s life anymore: no complaining, no relenting, no challenging. In fact, You have decreed that it, instead, looks like silence.
He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He opened not His mouth;
He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,
And as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
So He opened not His mouth.
You have called for me to rejoice, praise, and have gratitude no matter what. I believe Your way is right. I believe any other pursuit is vanity. How can one long for the love of his earthly family and yet desire the things of His heavenly Spirit placed within? My heart just does not know how to cross over. I don’t know what it looks like, in a permanent sense, to give into You COMPLETELY Abba. So in my weakness, when I cry out for Your help, I feel I am doing exactly as You are requesting.
I realize it is a journey of the heart. You said, “trust, endure, believe.” Help my unbelief Abba. Help me settle the unknown within, as I confess that I must give it all to You. Help me remember that today is “when” because today is all I have. It’s about believing Your immense love for me. And today Your love for me and for them is perfectly complete. Not believing this is where my joy lies persecuted. Help me know how deep that love is.
Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom. (Psalm 90:12)