There is no excuse for the deceptions we believe to soften the actions of our past, for our attempts to forget by means of that deception are as hollow as the lives we lead when our sins remain within us, uncleansed and unpurified.
For the sins within you, the ones which return in your dreams, the one you’re reminded of when making love to your husband or wife, or teaching your kids about right and wrong, or that you worry of when facing your job, or family, friends, or the most frightening of all, that man or woman in the mirror looking back at you, naked after the shower, dripping wet for all the clean inside you don’t feel.
Stare all you like at the inconsistencies of how the world tells you to face those demons, you’re left asking yourself — is this all there is? Why does my life feel so broken on the inside? Religion hasn’t helped me. Self help hasn’t helped me. I don’t tell my common friends as I’d lose them, and the true friends who are there to help me are only there to help me when I cry, they don’t heal me on the inside. Sometimes friends being there for me just aren’t enough.
Emptiness is deeper than peace in my heart, and I feel that that just isn’t the way it’s supposed to be, but what is it supposed to be? No one seems to know, and those who say they do know, don’t live up to what they’re selling. How am I to know the truth? How do I find the way? What’s really resting around that next corner? Will it be life I can handle, or will it finally bring me to my knees?
Or will my attempt at pride gloss over that which bothers me enough to allow me to sleep at night?
Death exists in us all, my friends. It sits waiting, burrowing and growing like a seed, a plant, a vine that wraps around and constricts us. Sometimes things in life we can control seem to help loosen the tightness in our chest, ease the pain and otherwise help us forget it’s in there. But even with the cessation of constant pain, there remains within something to refuses to be scraped from the floor of our souls, something that, left ignored, will grow once more and create imbalance in your heart. You can keep demons at bay, but you cannot destroy them, for you fight with weapons of this world, weapons they are both masters at and in which have only so much power against them.
Do you want the real peace you know can exist for you? Do you want to not only end your torture, but destroy that which perpetuates the oppression from within?
It will not come from any power you possess, or in which you can purchase. Do you know why?
There is no such thing as a self-repairing hammer. You are designed to be used with purpose, with love, with fulfillment. You are not a self-medical station. Even a hospital computer can get a virus from which it cannot save itself from, and you are no different.
Do you think you’re just not trying hard enough? Or that it will just take time? You know what happens the longer you leave mold untouched? It infests and cores out that which it has attached itself to. It doesn’t mean redemption is hopeless, but it does make the process more painful in the long run.
I want you to ask yourself what options you have in your heart. Be honest with yourself. What can you do to save your own soul? Did you create yourself? No, that doesn’t work. Can you have sex with someone and, by the pure force of your will, prevent life from growing? Or will that it should come? Or mold that it be male or female? Or give it certain attributes you do not already inherently possess? No, life is not of your making. You can only attempt to destroy it, and otherwise act as a conduit.
We do not have such authority, no matter what others tell us, or we tell ourselves. We are participants in a great race, but it is not our race, nor are we designed to win it alone. We do not fuel our cars, nor our horses, and will not well navigate the road ahead without our race manager.
All my examples aside, stop and think: We are spiritual creatures living inside physical shells that will one day fade away. If we only address the physical and ignore the spiritual, are we really going to solve the demons within? I can live and eat healthy, work out, stay fit, but if I have personal trauma in my heart from something I’ve done or have had done to me, I’m failing to actually address that which ails me. Stop fixing the symptom and go for the virus! Kill the cancer!
I want you, dear reader, to pause and remember how your heart felt the first time you connected with God, because I believe almost everyone has, at one point or another, connected. You may have been very young, and since them the rails of religion have trained over any real remnant of that connection. But let me tell you something no one else is telling you: THAT CONNECTION WAS VERY REAL, AND YOU DID NOT IMAGINE IT.
God does not live according to our religion or our cultural conceptions. He gave us life so that He might share it with us. We have let everyone else’s opinion on the best way to meet God get in the way of what actually worked for us. God did not design all of us with the same heart, mind, soul or body, so why should we imagine that we should pray, or eat, or live like everyone else?
While you stand in the mirror, dripping wet from your shower and you still feel dirty, I want you to close your eyes and go back to those distant memories, those moments when God felt real to you, before you decided God didn’t exist because of the hypocrisy of his Christians. I want you to open your mouth and then prevent yourself from speaking. When you have done so, I want you to surrender your ability to contribute to your own healing away. Empty yourself of it.
Without guile, pretense or fear, bare and surrender your unshielded heart to God. Yes, THE God. Just because people misunderstand Him doesn’t make Him any less the creator of the Universe. Just because you want to believe He doesn’t exist, doesn’t mean He doesn’t still wait to hear from you.
Just because you’re afraid, doesn’t mean He is.
I want you to bear your heart, and pray:
This is all I have, Lord. You don’t care about my car or my job. You don’t need my house or TV. Nothing I can give you of this world matters, because like my body, it will fade away. But what I do have, and everything I am, I offer to you. I can’t heal myself, I can’t save myself, I can’t even lead myself. But here, in this moment, no matter what tomorrow may bring, I offer all of me to all of You. There is nothing you can’t do, and I know, beyond religion, beyond hypocrites, beyond the prideful, you actually love me. You want to be with me, and know me, and love me. I will trust you more than I trust religion. I will love you more than I love Christians.
From here on out, I’m not living for them. It’s just you and me.
So Father, this is all I am and all I’ve got. I’m broken, I don’t measure up, and I never will. But you said you came for the sick, to rescue the lost and heal the broken. Well, I’m sick, I need rescuing and I am certainly broken. Nothing I can do is enough. But here, right now, I am yours. Please forgive me. Please restore me. Please BE the difference in my life, where no thing and no one has ever made. So now I surrender myself to you, as you have asked, which means my pains, my problems, my soul, are all your responsibility. It’s now your job to take care of me, and I will trust you with it.
From here on out, I am yours.
In the holy name of Jesus, Amen.