An idea popped into my head. Before I finished reading through the rest of the email, I sent off a query. I should have finished reading the entire email. The message already answered the question I asked. Sometimes I “speak” in haste.
I sat listening to a friend. A question was thrown out to me. A question I had no answer for. No matter what I would have said, it would be the wrong response. There was no good way to wade through the quagmire that the question opened up. I had no words and therefore sat in silence. What do I say to a friend who is hurting? How do I show hope in my words when it feels like none is there? Sometimes words are not enough.
I bent the ear of my spiritual mentor. I had words. I didn’t always like the words I spoke. I didn’t like what they revealed about my heart and mind. But they were the thoughts and emotions I was wading through. I felt that I needed clarity. However, clarity was not what was offered me in return. Instead, I was pointed to the character of my Father. His consistency, grace, mercy, forgiveness, hope and love were all laid out for me to see. Sometimes words bring hope.
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14 (NIV)
These are the words in my mouth; these are what I chew on and pray. Accept them when I place them on the morning altar, O God, my Altar-Rock, God, Priest-of-My-Altar. Psalm 19:14 (MSG)
In the past I have read this verse and craved the “right” words to speak to God. I have believed the lie that to approach my Father I needed to have it all together. I have believed the lie that God was not really interested in listening to me. I have believed the lie that I am not important enough to be heard by Him. If I could just say the “right” words, then it would all be okay and God would be pleased with me.
I have held on to the wrong picture of my God. This is the God who wrestled with Jacob (Genesis 32:22-32). This is the God who heard the laments of His people when they were slaves in Egypt (Exodus 3:7-10). My God is the one who conversed with Job and didn’t hold back (Job 38). My God heard as Jonah cried out in his distress inside the belly of the fish (Jonah 2). The Psalms are full of laments as David and the other writers speak with God with souls laid bare. This is the God who listened as His Son pleaded for the agony of the cross to be lifted from Him (Matthew 26:39, 42).
There are no perfect words. God has never been scared away by the real-ness of those He has created, those He loves. He desires an honest, open, transparent relationship with me. A relationship where I do not try to hide the truth about how I am. I am certain that He wants to see the real me, the me with all the scabs and bruises of hurt feelings, misunderstandings, frustrations, and even anger. He is present in the midst of those moments. He also joins me in the moments of joy, delight, hope, mercy, and forgiveness. I do not want to edit myself before my Father. He desires to be more and more revealed to me. Therefore, I must also pull back the curtains on my heart, continuing to reveal my whole true self in His presence. I cannot scare Him away. He is the God who will not let me go.
I place the words and contemplations of my heart on the altar. They are real. God, fill all of those places – the ones of hurt and pain, the ones of joy and delight. May my walk with You continue to grow and develop into one of intimate delight in You, my Rock and my Redeemer!