In the Crucible
Satan has been roaring at me the last two days; really roaring–teeth bared, causing bouts of gut-wrenching tears. This season of my life has been excruciating at times, and now is one of the worst. I thought of a couple of things yesterday that have upset me greatly, things I am scared to talk to my therapist about. I’ve asked my husband to go to my session with me Monday because I don’t want to face talking about it alone.
I’ve read the entries in my journal from the last couple of months. I have begged God and begged Him to renew my heart, to create me into someone who can glorify God. I have spent so many times on my knees begging the same thing. It feels like God isn’t listening. Scriptures say that isn’t so, people say that isn’t so. But it is so difficult to hold onto my belief when it seems I have been in the crucible for months.
This creates a lot of turmoil in me. I want to lash out at those who caused me so much pain, and then move far, far away.
Yesterday, I started reading some of Martin Luther’s works on Galatians. Very early on, I ran across a passage where Luther is talking about our constant struggle with trying to actively do something to earn our grace.
So deeply is this evil rooted in us, and so completely have we acquired this unhappy habit! Taking advantage of the weakness of our nature, Satan increases and aggravates these thoughts in us.
If only you could know how Satan has tormented me this week and stirred up thoughts of how undeserving I am to be loved unconditionally by God. To know that a man, 600 years ago, was dealing with the same insanity I am is somehow comforting and gives me hope.
This morning, satan attacked again. “You’re don’t deserved to be loved by God.” (I think this statement is what my therapist was talking about when he said maybe satan tells just enough of the truth to really mess us up. I don’t know about that; scripture says satan is the father of lies. But the above statement is deceptive in spirit if not in actual words.)
Normally, in the mornings when satan starts on me, he can often reduce me to tears in a matter of minutes. But today, I said,
“No, I don’t deserve to be loved, but God loves me anyway. I don’t deserve all of the good things He has done in my life, but He gave them anyway. I don’t deserve for Him to rejoice over me with singing, take delight in me, or throw a party in heaven when He’s brought me back into the fold, but He did and does all those things anyway. I was not worthy of having Jesus take on my sins and die on the cross for me, but He gladly did it anyway.”
I don’t know why God loves me, I don’t know why Jesus would willingly die for me. I am a dysfunctional child of God. And He loves me anyway. I can’t earn it, I can’t understand it, but I have to grab on and ask Him to help me believe it.
The crucible is torturous, but it also brings all the impure junk to the top to be skimmed off. Please God, keep on skimming.