Monday, May 21, 2012

Confessions and Comfort

Yesterday was one of those days. It started on the way to church when I decided it was worth it to argue about the three extra minutes of sleep that I was robbed of in a cruel and sadistic plot to leave "on time." The Lord was faithful to restore me to Himself during the service-- my appreciation for the weekly prayers of confession we're guided through in church continues to grow-- but then, on the way to lunch something was so unjust about how long I had to stand and wait in the sun that I just had to point it out. Then in the afternoon I attempted to do something profound (or at least productive) with my Sunday afternoon and failed at both, which added to my growing sense of despair about the day. The evening hours were bearable, although I indulged in my second greasy hamburger meal of the day (seriously, Texas and its beef!) more than I would have liked, causing me to leave the church cook-out with a nagging sense of guilt and shame. 

The whole day was crowned, however, with an hour of tossing and turning in bed unable to sleep. Grumpy about my many "failures" throughout the day (from being three minutes late to setting a bad dietary example to wasting time by actually Sabbathing on a Sabbath); feeling guilty about my sinful attitude throughout (blaming a man who has nothing to do with my inability to get ready in the morning and punishing him simply because he's in my inescapable presence); and finally, feeling even more angry with myself (AND that same innocent man for breathing so loudly in his sleep) for being unable to sleep myself. 

I finally got up to pray, but of course I approached the throne of grace tail-between-legs. I began by confessing and repenting, just like I had this morning in church. After that I began confiding in Him about my discouragement and exhaustion-- and that's when it all fell down-- because He comforted me. I had spent all day running myself into the ground; laying burdens on myself that He has not given me (does He expect me to be productive on the Sabbath?) and responding to life in this broken world with attitudes that He has not condoned in me (was my griping and moaning about a day-not-according-to-plan justified?) and yet there He was, comforting me in my exhaustion. Inviting me into His presence. Welcoming me, calming me, ministering to me. By the time I had come to Him, my own self-contempt was at an all-time high. I certainly didn't expect kindness from the Lord, who truly had reason to roll his eyes at my self-inflicted misery. And yet, I had forgotten who He is-- that He's not like me, and His response to my sin isn't what mine would be. 

I had forgotten that it's His kindness that leads me to repentance. 


Emma Faesi said...

Hannah, I have absolutely been there. It is so hard to stay on the right path. This part made me chuckle: "AND that same innocent man for breathing so loudly in his sleep." I know exactly what you're talking about. I've been known to jump out of bed and slam out of the bedroom as "retribution" against such a grievous act! ;-)

Aimee Byrd said...

Praise our loving Savior who meets us right in the midst of our failure. What a great God we have!