Sanctuary

I guess the open road has become my sanctuary.

Highways 95, 40 and 42. Miles driven while my girls sleep or all alone in a messy van.

Still longing for Prince of Peace. Needing Peace Be Still.

I swipe and tap until Kim Walker-Smith’s familiar voice fills the quiet. Can’t hold my love back from you…can’t hold my love back from you…I gotta sing…Sing my love to you, Jesus…

Inside my heart He does the thing only Jesus can do. I remember singing this song with abandon and joy and a kind of peace that cannot be manufactured.

Worship made me well.

There is nothing to compare with the presence and love of Jesus in my life–no matter how I look away.

Perhaps 2015 was a year of hiding for you, too. Maybe you sit on a pew or show up to serve but you don’t really trust people, don’t trust what you thought you knew about how it all works.  Perhaps you don’t trust Jesus anymore.

Except you can’t move on because you miss Him.

If so, may I encourage you?  We don’t need to have it all figured out. We don’t need to have our emotions in proper working order, have all bad habits put neatly away or have unearthed every issue for resolution before we come into the sanctuary – the refuge – of His love.

I have wasted so much time exalting my failings, as well as the failings of others, instead of Jesus.  Magnified every wrong and slight against me instead of the One who can heal me.   Allowed myself the luxury of suffering, let my pain and angst poison the atmosphere of my home, rather than lean on the purchase of His suffering.

I would go to church but resist His presence.  I did not want to see Jesus, hear Jesus, deal with Jesus.

Except over and over and over, as I drive,  He draws me out. With all my polluted thinking, hardened attitudes, sinful choices and desperate attempts at perfection He’s still loving me fiercely. Relentlessly. Waiting to make me well again.

Jesus is our medicine.   And the time we spend being loved by Him is what heals us.

I taste a bit of joy on the tip of my singing tongue. Hope erupts. Disappointment and doubt fade. Apprehension recedes. Pride cracks open and my bitterness spills out.

Oh this peculiar place where absolute abandon to the truth is welcome! Where our deepest realities are known and understood. Where the crumbly pieces we offer are gladly received. Where distance is closed in a whisper…in a shuddering sigh…in a song.

See, I keep breaking and spilling.  And He keeps mending and filling.

The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit.  You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.Psalm 51:17 NLT

 

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