What is it about life that makes you so often stop everything and reflect on it? Often times I’ll sit at home and just think about life. Questions flood my mind like why is life the way it is, or God, why can’t I live my life like Peter or Paul? God, will you stop me from sinning, or God, will you give me the strength to live for You no matter what. Yes, so many questions, so many thoughts that seem to always lead me to the same place, a place of crying out and asking God to use me again, to not give up on me, to help me fight hard against my flesh, my doubts, my fears.
It seems like a broken record, and often times I think that I’ll never get to the place I want to be. I think how and why would a holy, perfect God want me? Why would He use me and bless me when I feel like a failure and feel worthless.
Now there are times when I say, ‘well I’m better than I use to be.’ But those times are quickly overcome by the stark reality of my brokenness and sinfulness. When I think of how holy God is, I’m overwhelmed by how sinful I am. I think, ‘here I am again, crying out, asking God to change me and to make me holy.’ I ask Him to take all that is sinful in me and remove it. While in the back of my mind I think, ‘yeah, Don, you want to be holy now, but tomorrow you will fail again, you will sin again.’
So I sit praying, but hopeless, knowing that the God who created all things will have to act if I am going to have any hope at all. I know that there is nothing I can do to change the situation unless He acts. Unless God moves in my heart and in my mind, I am undone. Yes, the God who made me now also has to keep me, has to strengthen me.
I start to realize this is my reality; without God and His grace, His mercy, His restoration, there is no hope. There is nothing good in me except the good that I receive from Him. The hope I received when I put my faith in Jesus Christ. Yes, by putting my hope in Jesus, I open the door to see how sinful I am, how hopeless and broken I am. But by putting my hope in Jesus, God shows me how secure, and how forgiven I am. Yes, I will continue to have those times of crying out, times of running to God because of my sin, but God will remind me that He is changing me, making me more and more like Jesus.
And my prayer will continue to be, ‘God change me, forgive me, transform me, because I need You too, and You promise to do so.’
Why so downcast o my soul, put you hope in God. (Psalm 43:5)
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. (Psalm 51:1)