Friday, September 2, 2016

S.O.S.

At this point, you've heard me share this too many times to count. It's laughable. Embarrassing, really. I'm truly hoping I'm not the only one but so often I find myself on this deserted island sending out a desperate S.O.S. and wondering how on earth I would be rescued. I imagine the God of Wonders looking down at my smoke signal as He hangs His Holy head and looks on in dismay.

"Child, oh sweet hard-headed child. When will you learn?"

"Lord, a little help down here!" Does He hear? Can He see? Will He come to my rescue? He's never left me alone before but maybe this time... Maybe this was the last straw.

"My daughter, you're mine. You're precious to me. I know your thoughts before you utter a word. I planned all of your days before one of them came to be. Why would you think I would leave you alone?" (Psalm 139:16-17)

I'm so ashamed. I want to remember this moment. Mark it down. Etch it in my mind so I won't end up back here. This wasn't my first trip, and somehow I feel certain it won't be my last. Why oh why do I do the things I don't want to do but somehow miss the mark on the things I know I should be doing?!

I pictured this going so differently. Set my boat to sail and forge ahead to do His will. I would weather the storms no matter what came my way. I was on His mission, after all. The crashing waves wouldn't be enough to sink my determination knowing I was doing His will. I had His instructions and the course was mapped out. I was the Captain of my own ship. He put me in charge. What trust He must have in me! I had great plans to flex my faith. Certainly I was grounded enough to walk on water, right?! So I thought...

I sank. Flailing. Arms flapping. Choking on water. Gagging on my own gull and ego. How did this happen...again??? I'll tell you. I'll explain exactly how.

I took my eyes off Him. I lost sight of His plan and started charting my own course. I may have gotten so distracted I didn't even remember the mission - what was it He wanted me to do again? There I was. Washed up yet again. I'm surprised He didn't send Jonah's fish to swallow me up. I certainly deserved it.

"I'm sorry, Lord. I thought I had it this time. I wanted to do Your will and I got distracted by myself...again."

I knew He already knew but I tend to fill the silence with words and I couldn't stand not offering a further explanation of my failure.

"I want to please You. It's my desire... But I am my own worst enemy when I try so hard and insert my own ways into Your plan. I get so off course."

His Word is a constant soother of my soul-wounds.

"If you settle on the far side of the sea, even there My hand will guide you. My hand will hold you fast. There is nowhere you can go away from My Presence." (Psalm 139:7-12)

Even there, even on the far side of the sea, washed up and beaten down, He finds me and calls me back. He saves me from the crashing waves and the clouding of my own judgment. He rescues me from my fears and failures. He guides me in the ways of His righteousness even when my own filthy rags have caused me to stumble yet again.

I'm sending out a signal, Lord, a prayer for strength and wisdom to follow you even to the ends of the earth. To the far side of the sea, to the highest reach of the heavens and the lowest of depths. Let me not be the charter of my own course but rather following only after You. Help me, Lord, when I fall, when I veer off course. Guide me back. Forgive my wandering mind and wayward soul. Give me grace to forgive myself and fully trust in You.