Walking down the corridor, between the church auditorium and Sunday school classes, several years ago, I saw our friends from out of Province, walking up ahead. Delighted, and pleasantly surprised to see them, I picked up speed hoping to catch them before the crowds swallowed them up. Three young children walked sandwiched between their parents, dad leading and mom following on behind.
Upon reaching them I took the mom, by the shoulders and gave her a squeeze. She turned her face my way and I gasped. In my arms was a total stranger.
I apologized quickly and excused myself to catch up to the husband. The corridor had a slight decline, and somehow in my rush, I stumbled slightly as I reached for his shoulder. I tripped into his arms, and rather ungracefully welcomed him to Ontario.
Sometimes that is how I feel when I enter into God’s presence. I stumble about, unsure of my surroundings, wondering if I’m seeing the right face.
If my friend even noticed my little stumble, he didn’t let on. I felt a bit flustered and insecure for a moment, but other than that there was no harm done.
When we come into God’s presence in a flurry of emotions, unable to adequately express ourselves, He welcomes us and embraces us. Sometimes we have this notion that God only accepts us when we approach Him in a prim and proper ‘thee, thou, and thine’ manner, shaking His hand politely, from a distance, so to speak, as if He has a ‘personal bubble’ we should not invade.
God delights when we ‘come just as we are’ into His presence, imperfections and all. Not shaking His hand from a distance, but diving ungracefully into His arms, snuggling into the warmth of His love as He holds us close.
God invites us to come boldly before the throne of grace. He honours a heart that is true, not a heart that pretends to have it all together. He delights in honesty. The heart that is pure and true, confesses that it is imperfect, wicked and deceptive by nature. This is the heart that God loves. It is the heart He can transform.
King David, a man after God’s own heart, was a man of blood, and an adulterer. It was obviously not these things that gave him this special place in God’s heart. However, King David allowed God into the secret chambers of his heart, inviting him to expose the wickedness hidden there. He rose up early to commune with his Lord. He recognized God as all-powerful, yet a gentle shepherd in his life. He meditated on Him day and night. He also recognized that, even if he tried, he could never run from God. King David surrendered his heart to that reality and invited God to reside in his heart, submitting his life as an earthly king, to the leadership and authority of the King of kings.
Seven years ago, I went through some intense battles about coming into God’s presence. There were times when He seemed so silent, that at moments I was quite angry with Him.
I awakened in the middle of the night, during that time, struggling again with God, questioning what He really wants from me. Tired of finding no answers, my mind drifted to all the dreams I have. Writing dreams. Family dreams. Business dreams. Ministry dreams.
In the middle of this reverie a voice spoke into the night, “That is the place I want in your heart. It is all I ask.”
I realized that my dreams had claimed God’s place in my heart. They had squeezed Him out. I repented of my sin and asked for his help in restoring his His rightful space. I was again set free from myself to enter God’s presence. It wasn’t His rejection that had kept me away; it was my unwillingness to lay down my plans and agenda. When I came boldly into His presence to be forgiven, I realized I was, and always had been, loved and completely accepted.
It is the great love and grace of God that allows us to trip up and stumble ungracefully into His arms and be loved just the same.
© Trudy Metzger 2012
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