The End of Self
You've been given forgiveness, salvation, healing, mercy, grace, love, joy, peace, confidence, courage and more, and then, one day, when you no longer feel the need to soul search or prove yourself or strive, you find yourself standing there with nothing in your hands and nothing to do. Or so it feels. You look around and, even though there's this sense of completion and contentment, a sense of having arrived and just 'being', you find yourself twiddling your thumbs and wondering, "Now what?"
Recently, I've come to the end of myself in the sense that, after wandering about in a field of grace and mercy for umpteen years, I've said, "I've had enough of my sin, God... I just want you..." and this time I say it with my WHOLE (whole: adjective 1. all of; entire. 2. in an unbroken or undamaged state; in one piece...) heart. Upon giving my whole heart to God, and turning my back on the sins I know have been holding me back, I've found a greater desire to know the Holy Spirit. Upon seeking a greater awareness and knowledge of the Holy Spirit and who He is, I believe He has brought me to this place today, a place that feels like the 'end of me', where I wonder, "Now what?" - and that with a hopeful heart. :)
As I wonder, "Now what?" something stirs in my soul and I hear:
Now the Holy Spirit
So much time lost. So many wounds revisited. So many doubts, fears and insecurities played with. So much procrastination piled on top of everything else. So many opportunities lost...And so much spiritual stagnation, which, I have come to see through experience, came when I was not in fellowship with the Holy Spirit... And on and on the list goes...
Ah, but then...all is not lost...
Then the Holy Spirit
Then... what... Life?
Today, I feel like I'm closing the door on Yesterday, on the past, and that without regret, without shame, and without a longing that seeks to draw me back in time.
I'm closing the door and, with peace in my heart, I'm moving on.
I can visualise myself stepping back from the closed door, and, upon doing so, I notice I no longer dread or regret or mourn over anything on the other side. I no longer hold the negativity and fear and dread that once was. I don't see the old shame, the sins of my past, the ugliness of what I've done or that's been done against me. I don't see the scars...
I continue to pray for those I've wounded during the course of my life, but they don't belong back there either. If they are still in my life, or if I happen upon them in my future, they will belong to my 'now', with me seeking to love and to help repair any wound I may have caused them.
The ugliness of sin and shame and wounds and blame lay behind. Love lays ahead.
New International Version - UK (NIVUK)
And we know that in all things
God works for the good of those who love him,
who have been called according to his purpose.
Jesus has taken the ashes of my life and transformed them into beauty. God created me; Jesus recreated me. He took the broken pieces of my life, and made me new. So clever and magnficient is He, that He transformed my trash into a masterpiece. A testimony to His love and greatness... All for His glory.
(Here, I am reminded of Isaiah 61)
My past remains, but it is no longer overshadowed by darkness.
My past remains, but it hold no shame for me.
My past remains, but the pain does not.
My past remains, but it has no hold over me.
My past remains, but it is in Christ's hands now. It's no longer mine; it is His.
God has, through Jesus Christ and all He has accomplished and continues to do, by His Spirit, transformed the ugly into beauty. It's what they do...when we let them. :)
God creates us. The world breaks us. If we let Him, Jesus takes the broken pieces and recreates us - exchanging His beauty for our ashes. We must let go of the broken pieces. We must cling to the Holy Spirit, our Counselor: God's Spirit; God's heart in us... We can trust Him. We are safe with Him. He loves us...
Is this the freedom I had been looking for? The freedom I had been crying out for these past few weeks? The freedom God has for me; the freedom Jesus had made a way to; the freedom the Holy Spirit was nudging me towards? The freedom that can belong to all of us, through Christ...
It certainly feels like it. :)
Now the Holy Spirit
I am not alone.
I am not worthless.
I am not my past.
I am a new creation...and now, at the end of me, :) I feel it... I know it... I want it... I love it!
Thank you, God! Thank you, Jesus! Thank you, Holy Spirit!
The Father revealed in the Son
25 At that time Jesus said, ‘I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. 26 Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.
27 ‘All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
28 ‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.’