This week isn’t turning out like I had planned. The kids are at their dad’s for a few days. Normally I fill any time they’re away with distractions. But this time the two friends I rely on to distract me are out of town, out of the country actually. So I’ve spent the last few evenings on the couch watching mindless TV and eating junk food.
That wasn’t my intention. My intention was to spend these few days with God. Every year I take a few days to get away and go on a prayer retreat. This year I haven’t been able to get away, so I had planned to use this quite time at home to spend quality time with Jesus. I had planned to finish reading the Gospel of John and work on a Bible study I’m doing, and spend time praying and listening. I’ve been looking forward to it, craving it actually.
A few weeks ago I wrote in my journal:
Father, help me to find satisfaction in You and You alone. Let my greatest joy be found in You, my greatest desires be completely met in You. I want my relationship with You to be my most cherished relationship. You are all I need.
The desire of my heart is more of Him. Yet, it seems as if the desire of my flesh is laziness and chocolate. I woke up this morning feeling empty. On my long ride into work I asked Him “what’s wrong with me?” And I was faced with the reality of my choices. My choice of television over communion with God. My choice of comfort food over feasting on the Word of God. The last few evenings I’ve been invited to spend time with the lover of my soul and I responded with a quiet “no thank you”.
This morning a friend shared with me a quote they had read from a pastor that said that “most of us are not bad people”. Well, I beg to differ.
“We are all infected and impure with sin. When we proudly display our righteous deeds, we find they are but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall. And our sins, like the wind, sweep us away. Yet no one calls on Your name or pleads with You for mercy. Therefore, You have turned away from us and turned us over to our sins. And yet, Lord, You are our Father. We are the clay, and You are the potter. We are all formed by Your hand.” Isa. 64: 6-8
As much as I’d like to think this passage doesn’t apply to me, it does. Left to my own devices this is who I am. Infected and impure with sin. Withered and swept away by my sin. Not crying out to God. Then I wonder why He seems so distant. Matthew Henry in his commentary of this passage poses the question “How can we expect that God should come to us in ways of mercy when those that profess to be intercessors are mere triflers?” Ouch. The truth hurts.
But there’s good news for us triflers, because He is the potter. He formed us in the beginning and continues to re-form us every time we unmake or deform His creation through sin or neglect. One simple cry of repentance, one simple cry of “Abba Father” and He instantly turns towards us with love and mercy.
“‘Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. you will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart. I will be found by you’, declares the Lord.” Jer. 29: 12-14