It's Groundhog Day which has (thank you Bill Murray) become a euphemism for doing the same thing over and over and over... so it's a good time for me to talk about my Confession Obsession.
'17 For I am about to fall,
and my pain is ever with me.
18 I confess my iniquity;
I am troubled by my sin.
Do you find yourself telling God OVER and OVER again what a horrible person you are? I find myself in prayer giving a disclaimer to God (you know, the Creator of the Universe who is all knowing and all seeing) and I feel the need to let him know once again what a sinner I've been over the years. You know, because we can't get to the business of what I really need to do in prayer - building a relationship with God by listening to His voice, intercessory prayer for others, and so on - until I remind Him just how unworthy I am. Which flies in the face of THIS
1 John 1:9
Yesterday... I was giving God a basic outline of my prayer concerns for the day and reminding Him of the different *issues* that I routinely face and asking Him to fix those people who make my journey more difficult than I think it should be.... which is quite contrary to Romans 14...
10 You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister[a]? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat.
13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.
I didn't exactly go to those verses immediately but I remembered something I had heard about not being an accuser of the brethren. And I thought... "I need to stop giving God my advice about His children and how He needs to "parent" them"... the sins in others that are making my life unpleasant. I surely don't appreciate outside commentary on how to raise MY kids... My focus in prayer about others needs to be about their needs, not their faults.
But later... as I was once again giving God a disclaimer on what a rotten person I am... the thought occurred to me that I'm also a child of God... fearfully and wonderfully made... covered by Grace... and clouding my prayers with Confession Obsession out of fear that I have forgotten to bring something up before... out of a sense of disbelief that I am worthy.... not that I don't believe that my sins were paid for at the Cross... but out of my character flaw of needing to control everything, not really relinquishing the guilt... for sins that have long since been forgiven.
I'm losing precious time alone with God by failing to appreciate the progression of our relationship... He wants me to move forward in faith in the afterglow of the grace that has been poured out on my life. I keep wanting to take us back to revisit what a rotten person I
I've had a heavy cloak of fatigue weighing me down this week. I'm getting up and doing the things I need to do every day but it's not easy.
Yesterday, though, I had what I consider a Divine Appointment...
a lady who is a newly single mom raising a child who is very much like Austin...
hers is five years old and she is weary
and my eyes filled with tears listening to her describe the struggles...
I finished a lot of her sentences for her,
in that way that people who have known each other a long time sometimes do...
not because I had ever met her before in my life
but because I have lived the life she is living
and I was uniquely gifted to be able to empathize with her and give her some direction...
based on the fact that she is traveling a road that I have been on for nearly 18 years.
And later, as I was driving home,
I thought about how close I had come to giving up on my job
because the pain is too great
and the struggle too hard
and the rewards so few
and the shame so great
that I am not who I used to be physically,
I don't have the strength I once had
and I carry so much guilt about not carrying my weight...
but what if I wasn't there for THAT lady?
Not that I solved all of her problems
how precious it would have been to me
to have had someone tell me 13 years ago that it was going to be alright
and yes, we would struggle
but he would make it through school,
that we would eventually come up with a combination of behavior modifications and medications
that would allow him to succeed
and out of that pain and struggle would come an amazing child...
the best blessing of my life?
What if I had been on the other side of that kind of Divine Appointment?
I didn't have anything to offer her other than the fact that she is not alone in her journey.
And I basked in the glow of the realization that this person (me) that I've been accusing of the same failures over and over again in my Confession Obsession... is a person (still) who can be used of God.
I am fearfully and wonderfully made. And I am so. thankful.