19 Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out,
20 that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, - Acts 3:19-20
Repentance is a brokenness that happens when we realize we are not worthy of His mercy and grace. In the story of the prodigal son, the son returns to the father, and in shame says, "I am not worthy to be called your son." This is the attitude of repentance. It's when we see our sin as He sees it, and we hit that rock-bottom awareness of our unworthiness. It is only then that we are truly repentant, and only then that we can understand His beautiful gift of grace. In order to find the times of refreshing that come after our repentance, we must get to the place where we allow Him to open our eyes to what He sees in our heart. This doesn't just happen with the words "I confess I lied, I'm sorry". This happens in the heart. And it cannot happen unless we take the time to quietly reflect with Him. Our lives are so busy at times that we skip our quiet time with Him, or we rush through it because we have places to go and things to do. If we're not taking that time to sit with Him every day, reading His Word, meditating on it, and praying, we're not going to experience repentance. We're simply going to confess our sins on a surface-level, but never see a change. We will be trapped in the sin-confess-repeat cycle. Why do we continue to battle with our weight? Why do we continue to struggle in that relationship? Why is it hard to find the joy in life? Where is my peace? If these are questions that are running through your head, I would challenge you to repentance. Get low and just stay there for awhile. Allow Him to reveal to you what He sees. It is only then that we will have a change in heart, or a change in our thinking and our actions will change. And then, we will be refreshed with the joy and peace that can only come after repentance.
You would think with all this time I have on my hands, I would have uncovered all the dark places in my heart, and I'd be in a time of refreshing with God, but it's still such a constant battle. I've been struggling these past two days with His timetable for healing. You see, according to my plan, I'd be feeling much better by today, ready to head back to work on Monday, but here I continue to sit, with an ice pack on my chest over the incisions, and the painful swelling from lymphedema continuing to grow in my right arm. It's not happening on my timetable - I'm still esteeming comfort over redemption. I want my health back. There are so many things I want to do, but cannot. Fear has been rising at how I am going to manage Monday, much less the wedding events of next weekend. I still have so far to go, I still have so much pride to confess and repent. The beautiful part of this process is the way He strengthens and comforts us as we lay it all down at His feet. He refreshes us in these broken moments of repentance with a very real sense of His presence, as He rushes in to take the reigns from us. We grab them back all the time, but there He waits patiently for us to hand then back each time. How He loves us!!
I read on a friend's post today: "When it feels like everything is crashing in on you - learn to decipher the difference between being buried and being planted." I love the wisdom in these words. It's a constant battle when you're walking through a trial - I can feel buried at times at the overwhelming nature of what I'm walking through, but that is only when I am trying to do this in my own strength. He is planting with this trial and growing me through this, further teaching me how to rely on Him and trust Him in every step.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗
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