PERSEVERANCE. O Lord, how I lack it.
Why do I so quickly collapse beneath the smallest weight of my flesh? I am so tired and saddened by my distractions, silly pursuits, and wasted time. I am exhausted by the perpetual dance with my frailty.
Lord I have fallen. Forgive me. I am no better than the one who thinks nothing of you. Perhaps he is further ahead in that he does his duty with fortitude, even though his end is not for your glory. I, on the other hand, knowing well the end of all things and that to which the heart should be directed, piddle away the moment, drifting from one impluse to the next like a kite in the wind.
I am ashamed, Lord, ashamed of my lack of resolve. The bile of sloth, avarice, and self-indulgence is rising in my throat. Why you bother with me is truly a mystery! Could it really be Love? Could Love be this patient? Could Love be this forgiving? If so, I cannot comprehend it! I stand condemned — guilty — deserving to be tossed out with those who strike at your cheek, crucifying You all over again.
But I would be guilty of a greater crime if I were to remain in this despair. It is, after all, a condition of wounded pride. It is the place of Judas to run away in self-deprecation and depression; it is the domain of the unrepentant thief to persist in self-righteousness and blindness to your mercy; it is above all the tragic mindset of that fallen angel, that prince of darkness, to dwell in pride and self-pity.
And so Lord, I come to you again… as I am… broken, frail, wounded… filthy, hungry, and tired. I come — not as a faithful son — but as a prodigal. I come with my prepared confession, my imperfect penitence, and my pocket full of nothing but hope.
I come in poverty. I come, as a sinner.
…Behold! What do I see? Is that you, Father, running toward me….!
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