I have no strength in me to fake, Lord. No courage to muster, no energy to hide. I am a mess, Jesus.

I remember the first time You showed me my sin– the day I realized I needed a Savior. Such overwhelming horror, gratitude, and relief when I learned that You were ripped and torn. You loved me too much to leave me to my own fate.

I don’t know how to love You. I think about Your love and I get lost, dazed that my God could pour out such adoration on this worm of a person. I think about Your love, and I get caught up in shame because I know how truly I do not deserve You. I feel guilty that I have repaid Your radical gift of salvation with apathy…or worse, with pride. I have a long list, Lord… from this month, heck, just from this week, of ways that I’ve failed You, of reasons You should give up on me.

But I can almost see You smiling right now, because I know You will never stop loving me. You can’t. You are love, it’s inseparable from Your nature. And Your love… Oh, how it defies every cynical bone in my body. How it fails to leave me wallowing, and wrestles me away from every trap of temptation I run to.

Your love is raw, Jesus. It isn’t palatable, and it’s not rational. It’s unconditional, and I don’t understand it. But I’ve found a truth. One thing I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I can hold on to in every circumstance, because my heart believes it– I can trust You. No matter what, I can trust You to love me, and never leave me. 

It seems simple. I might balk at the blatancy and unsophistication of that statement if it wasn’t my very reason for hope. My motivation to get up in the morning. The thought that holds me in the darkest of times: “Jesus loves me, and He’s still here. He’s always right here.”

And out of this flows change, because I can’t experience Your love and stay the same, it’s simply impossible. True love chooses You over me. True love invades my mind with thoughts of how beautiful You are. True love inspires surrender. Sacrifice. Obedience. Sanctification is the product of abiding in You.

I’m still a mess. An exposed quagmire. You know the deepest, ugliest, nauseating parts of me, better than I do. And You grieve when I reject You. Holy Spirit, I don’t want to cause You distress and sorrow, and yet, as I say this, I am acutely aware that I have. Ephesians 4:30 says I can cause You to feel intensely deep, emotional, childbirth-like pain (Strongs 3076). Help me realize what this means. Help me to understand how intimately close You are, and fill me with the awareness of Your presence constantly. I am sorry for speaking without grace, clinging to bitterness and anger, and filling my heart– Your home– with impurity. Today, I lay down my feelings of offense as You replace them with kindness, tenderheartedness, and forgiveness. God in Christ has forgiven me; I have no right to hold a grudge.

Precious Lord, You are so patient with me as I fail, and berate myself for it. I’m sorry that I haven’t honored You. I’m sorry I haven’t given You the first place in my heart. I’m sorry that I’ve become used to Your sacrifice. Please, please take the idols away, Jesus. Enter like You did in that temple and cast out the imposters. Show me where and with what I’ve replaced You so I can join You in throwing it all out! Evict everything I’ve brought into our secret place. Strip it all away and restore honest, reverent, devoted, prayer. 

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” Matt. 6:9-13

Here I am. Raw, broken, and gross, but here I will always be. Willing and desperate for an eternity to know You. I’m drawing nearer, God.

Jesus Christ of Nazareth, Prince of Peace, King of Kings, my Bridegroom, my Hero,

my Dearest, Beloved, Humble, and Mighty Lord,

I love You too.

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