I had written an article not long after camp had ended about my spiritual appetite. You'd think that such an article was written from a heart that was ready to set sail to unexplored passions for my Savior, and it was. But how quickly my heart plummeted for the lies of sin! I found apathy setting in like gangrene, ruining and corrupting a desire that should have beat for Jesus Christ with every pulse of my heart. I sat there in the muck and filth of wicked actions. But I feared to come out of it, dreading to face my heavenly Father. Darkness is terrified of holy light, because it knows it cannot exist in its presence. I cowered like Adam and Eve of old, feebly trying to hide from holy God, who penetrates and probes every sinful corner of the halls of my heart. My resistance broke in the face of unrelenting mercy and grace. I opened my mouth and muttered words of confession - words I knew I had uttered hundreds of times before. I declared my utter failure and weakness, so easily satisfied by the broken cisterns of this world, when a full fountain of living water has been provided to soak me in pure, holy, joyful living (Jeremiah 2:13). The dam broke as it has every time I built it against my Savior, and His always forgiving, never ending love washed over me anew.
It was during this time where I needed healing for damage sin had inflicted upon my heart that I came across a verse in 1 Peter 5:10 that lept off the pages and into my wounds like a balm.
"...the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you."
Sin had left broken limbs in its wake. My fellowship with the Lover of my soul was splintered. So my prayer began - God of all grace, please restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish me. Restore the broken pieces of a beautiful relationship that You began in me. Confirm in my heart that I'm still the one You love, that I am still Your child. Strengthen the muscles of my will with the weight of Your truth, so that I will leap unto even higher heights and plunge into even deeper depths of Your compassion. Establish my life in Your holy plan that it may stand when my flesh rises against you with worldly vigor.
So again, I write another article hungering for Jesus Christ. The hymn writer said it well - "Prone to wander, Lord I feel it. Prone to leave the God I love. Here's my heart, O take and seal it, seal it for thy courts above." I am still weak, still drawn to pursue the lust of wickedness. But this prayer for grace is on my heart and my lips. And already, He is at work. He has expanded my ministry at New Life Camp in ways I never could imagine. He is bringing to light more areas of my life that need honing and sharpening until the fruit growing out of it is fuller, bolder, more flavorful. He's calling with that still, small voice that sets me to trembling. I must grow in Him, must grow more mature in Him, must grow more in love with Him. And frankly, I have cried over the areas of my life He is calling me to lay aside for the greater glory of His love being shown. I don't know how well I will pursue Him. But I am desperate to do so.
I received a birthday gift from my mom for my room. It's a magnetic glass board that included a unique paint marker. I couldn't think of a better reminder to post on it than the one God is still singing into my heart, a melody of healing, sacrifice, beauty, and passionate love.
PS - Speaking of music, Jason Gray's latest album A Way To See in the Dark is absolutely fantastic. He takes what would seem on the surface to be simply hooks and catchy melodies to drive home deep, deep truths about Jesus Christ, our identity in Him, and the struggles we face in living out that identity. It stirs me up every time I listen to it.