I didn’t like what I saw…
It was staring me in the face, this monster of pride. I hated it when it approached, it made me nervous and afraid to speak up, because when I did, I was quickly cut off. My words meant nothing, it seemed, and I couldn’t get a word in edgewise. I was deemed the listener and I was getting rather good at it. Was my name patience? I didn’t think so. Inside, I ached, just wanting to get out and share what I thought and how I felt, but always, in the presence of this friend, I was helplessly restrained.
Sometimes I’d run from the beast and spend time with whoever I could find. Often it was someone that seemed to have all the answers tucked in the bag they were carrying. Pleasures and experiences were offered, and I was amused by them. They seemed to fill the void and take my mind off my emptiness. But when it was all over, I would sit… unfulfilled, aching more than ever, wondering if there was more to life.
I was approached by another who was a better listener than even I. I thought maybe this was it. She would sit and listen to me complain for hours. Self-pity had become my best friend. As life went on, I became more miserable and grew ever closer to these “besties.” They all wanted my attention, and I would give it, even though I hated what would be left: the deepest and darkest loneliness, pain, and depressing thoughts that whispered, “Life just isn’t worth it anymore.” I was desperate for what I was truly in need of: love and truth. I kept looking and waiting, wondering if there was any hope.
Then it happened:
Someone came over and touched my shoulder. I looked up and was met by a pair of eyes that seemed to say, “Come, I have something to show you!” Realizing that I was getting nowhere on my own, I thought I’d venture out just to see what I might be offered this time. It seemed I was climbing a mountain with this man. He was showing me things I had never seen before – it was beautiful. I was in awe and wonder of the things he showed me. I was enjoying his presence, and for the first time I finally felt a deep care just for who I was. We climbed one hill and then another. Just as I was getting too nervous to go on, he stopped to wait for me, and smiled.
I think it was the quietness and contentment of the man that reassured me and urged me to go on. We were almost there, he said. Finally, we stopped. He sat down and it was quiet again. I followed his gaze down into the valley, what did He see? I strained, and could see nothing. Then he began to speak again. There was nothing to distract me and I just listened.
Slowly and gently he began to share with me about a certain man who cared for me more than anyone in the world. In fact, the ugly things that I hated so much, but seemed trapped by – in my own life and all around me – had approached this man as well. My friends had cursed him, wanting to ruin his plans to help me. I wondered how this could be possible, how anyone could endure what I could not. He must have seen the question form in my eyes.
He answered: “It was love, he brought it to everyone he was around, but it wasn’t enough.” “What,” I thought, “not enough? How could this be? I would surely take it, I wanted that. I needed something, who would reject what was needful?”
“Many,” he now was saying, “Many have been drawn close by this man, but have turned away, and this is your opportunity.” He continued, “It wasn’t enough for this man to bring love. He must take what you are now holding and exchange it for his love.” Then I knew; I understood. I would have to let go of my time with Pride, with Self-pity. I would have to let self-pleasure know that we were no longer friends (and I wanted friends so badly). I would be trading all I had for what I didn’t yet fully know or understand.
“But how do I know this is for me?” I asked. “How do I know this will work?” He smiled again and reassured me: “This is good for you, because he offers it with you in mind. This love is a gift that is for your own keeping. Once you receive it, he will never take it back. He made it this way especially for you.” It seemed too good to be true and too lovely for someone like me. I didn’t think I could accept.
He waited, quietly listening, and everything seemed to intensify in my heart. I was more nervous then ever and felt the weight of my own guilt more than before. The love that had seemed to consume me was still there, but now I felt torn between the two. I was in a battle.
He pulled something out of his pocket, and handed it to me. It was a mirror. I gazed into it and for the first time, saw who I really was and I hated it: it was everything that had surrounded me. At first I was angry, but then I started to cry. I had never cried tears like this before. Here was a man offering me freedom from myself and I wasn’t sure I wanted it. I had a choice to make.
“His love covers a multitude of sin,” he was saying. “Won’t you accept His love for you? He wants to clean you up and give you new clothes; he wants to take you to his home and feed you and get to know you. He has sent me to find you and is waiting, preparing a wonderful home for you. Won’t you receive what he has to offer?”
I thought about the pain I might have to endure to come to such a place, and how I’d have to leave everything I had ever known. But it was time: it was time to choose between what seemed to be life and death. His promise to me was that I’d never again be left on my own. My life depended on one word: trust.
How could I become vulnerable to this man? I knew in my heart that what he was saying to me was true – and that the mirror wouldn’t lie. It was freedom or bondage…I had been cuffed for so long and this man had finally unlocked my chains. I had to merely throw them off and say “Yes!”
What have you done? Have you said “Yes” to the love of Jesus? He could change your life forever – if you let Him.