Not that I was more deserving of pain than any other, or that I was built to withstand better.
That I could see and understand a few things…
Lord, I used to pray that you take my cup away, that you not allow me to go through certain pain. In the silence, I would go through my valley, and come out on top, that is, okay. I never held it against you, but I wondered what you meant when you said that you would always be there. Where were you, right before I entered the darkness, and again where were you when all I felt was the searing pain? Yet again, where were you when I walked out of it, praising your Name?
Lord, I used to pray that you would take anything that separated me away from you, no matter the personal cost to me. I would watch things that I loved leave or be destroyed. I never took it out on you, but wondered how I could have prevented anything like that from taking place. I figured you must have meant for my walls to go up, or you forgot that small part of my life that cost so much. In all this your love prevailed, and with each thing you took and gave, I still somehow praised your Name.
What did I really know about anything? How could I, if you had not had the chance to show me? So what did I give up this Lent?
Another portion of my will. I am becoming insignificant to the world, as I increase my significance in Heaven.
I am becoming less bothered by the results of this world, as I seek your final say.
I am losing what I thought I had, for what you have given me. I am giving up what I created, for what you meant for me. I am living on purpose, and that is your Gift to me.
If I had not loved and lost, I would not understand,
How important it is to listen to you. Not because I would have won, but because what I went through, is nothing compared to what happens to You, when we reject you.
That you loved us before we were created, that we ignore you in all your Presence, that we punish you with our continued transgressions, that we do not honor you with our thoughts and words, that we doubt your Might, that we question your Purpose… Do you need to die again Lord so that I can get it? Are the scars on your Sacrificial Body not enough for me to remember why you came?
So I loved, and I stayed, and through everything, tried to imitate your Way. I repaid selfishness with mercy, I gave kindness in exchange. I forgave countless times, with every trespass against me, in your Sorrow and Blood, I washed and bathed. You kept me when it didn’t make sense, you always gave me a way. You taught me through the whole mess, you never once went away. So when I cried you held me, and when I rejoiced you blessed me. When I gave up you strengthened me, and when I felt I could do no more, you thanked me.
You, Jesus. You kept me. And you did not leave me at the valley, at the mouth. You took my hand, looked me in the eye, and promised that you would walk with me. You gave me your immeasurable strength, so that even I was amazed. You gave me your Spirit, so I could discern my ways. You touched us both with your Hope, nothing was lost. You kept your word Lord, that I could lose a love, not a friend. You kept your word Lord, that me and my heart would walk out okay. And you kept your word Lord, that my value is embedded in you, and its price increased with every tear that I cried. It was for you that I thought I tried. It was me, that everything had to happen and why. It is in you, that I survived.
That our stubborn hearts be completely melted in your Love, Lord Jesus I pray, for we do not know what we do when we reject your Holy Name. Amen.