[I am posting this essay I wrote several years ago in recognition of today- the anniversary of the day that Jesus saved me from a bed of suicide, sin, and Hell, and miraculously delivered me from depression. I realize it is not exactly acceptable for a man to express feelings of self-hatred and talk about their insecurities but I post this as a testimony of the grace of God that saves me from a lot of things, including my worst enemy- myself. It is my hope and prayer that God uses this essay to encourage someone else. 2 Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new.” This includes how I see myself. There is no excuse for self-hatred if God loves me. If I believe I am worth hating but God thinks I am worth loving, then I am wrong for thinking my ability to judge my worth is somehow more complete and better than God’s- this can’t be as His judgment and knowledge are perfect and mine isn’t. To this day it absolutely blows my mind that God would be jealous with a holy jealousy over me in wanting my heart, attention, and life.]
Exodus 34: 14: “For Thou shalt worship no other god: for the Lord, whose Name is Jealous, is a jealous God. “
Hebrews 12: 29: “For our God is a consuming fire.”
I have felt Your eyes watching over me even with my sight blurred. I have seen Your desires chasing me even when I doubt much of what I have heard. Besides myself, You are the only one to look beyond what everyone else has seen. You have pursued me in spite of all of these revelations and how much I have bled. I am insecure beyond reason. I have failed beyond belief. For everything that has consumed my time (even when I didn’t really want it to,) I have washed ashore to the beach of regret. I have admitted my failure at swimming against Your tide. And I am tired beyond the understanding of most- for all the times I thought success would arrive the next time I tried. Will I always be a step away from all You want? Will I ever give all of myself to satisfy Your desires? You have made Your intentions known that unless You can lay claim to all of me, You are dissatisfied. And in spite of the monsoons of my trepidation and greed, I have come to realize I am discontented without all of You I can get. I have been desperate to be desperate for You but very rarely been found living in full acknowledgment and gratitude of how You are all I need. My desires have overtaken my need. My good intentions have been overcome by my greed. And yet my good intentions don’t make me worthy of Your presence. Nor do my imperfections keep You from me.
The struggle in me has often been unanimous. My efforts to surrender all to You and arrive at Your definitions for my life have failed tremendously. And so we seemingly are at an impasse, even if today could be the day of deliverance. But I am so worried about tomorrow…
How can You watch me, knowing how much I need You to rescue me from the ugliness that is me? Do You see any of Your goodness in me? Any of Your beauty my heart had fled during the days of my rebellion. I have been sung to sleep by the music of my chains, even while hating their very presence. I have refused to worship anything other than my own agony. I have raised my voice, hiding no frustration from You, needing Your attention, but even more so, I have begged for my own demise to be replaced by Your presence. It seems all of my previous naivete has been replaced by my cynicism toward some of Your demands.
Can I ever satisfy You? Should I even try any more? I have failed You, myself, and everyone who knows me more in my years than many do their entire lives. At times, I have silenced my faith and most of my gratitude, wanting no part of some of Your plans.
In spite of all of me Your heart has not turned cold against me. You have given me this day to choose the master of my motivations. How Your thoughts are so expensive, so priceless that they are worth my attention. How do You consider me so priceless, my heart so worthwhile that I am worthy of your attention? You who humble Yourself just to think upon me. And not just once or twice in my lifetime when I cry for repentance or am desperate for Your assistance. No, you will not stop thinking of me.
You who could easily slay me in a moment for all of the degrading views I have had of You. Yet You call patiently with much understanding and grace. You who knew me before any of my choices were made. You call me the delight of Your heart. I am astounded that I am Your inheritance, what You are waiting for. I don’t understand how I am someone You eagerly want to be near today, all of my days, and forever. How can You want me? Much has been said of how I am not worth much to many here, and yet You, of all people, desire greatly to be near me. For Your arms to enfold me, to hold me, and not let go. How am I so worthy of Your jealousy, even with all of my heart’s infidelities? I am so humbled at how You sacrificed all You were just to be intimate with me. It is no surprise that in light of all Your humility that You hate pride. That despite my negativity toward You and myself, in spite of the loser me, You still desire me. Even when my self-hatred is more evident than any reflection of Your love in my heart.
What can I do in this hour? What can I do with these contemplations? That you love me despite my frustrations, failures and shortcomings that have caused me to fall so short of Your glory. I have no other choice but to cry along with the psalmist: “Let the sighing of the prisoner come before Thee…for I am poor and needy, yet You think upon me…You are my help and deliverer, make no tarrying O my God…” (Psalm 79:11, 40:17) Help me surrender this hour and be consumed by the fire of Your jealous love. That I would no longer be the prisoner in the cage whose door You have unlocked and are standing before beckoning me to open and walk through. Instead, I have spent these days angry You won’t open it for me, rattling my cage with my fury and demanding freedom.
All kinds of guilty verdicts have hung my head lower than I want it to be. I have made my bed the condemnation given by others and myself. But to find rest is to realize You are ever jealous over me, despite all of this; even if no one else could find a reason to allow such passion to enter their hearts for one such as me.
My time then must be spent running to Your very arms. I must acknowledge that Your heart of such purity so longs to be near me, You were imprisoned for my sake; that Your Name was made infamously filthy so I could be rescued. That through the horror of Your death, I have seen Your eternal passion for me. And only in You will I have a life abundant of something other than all I despise. For You only are the true definition of life and love and the end of the loser me.