"A week of meditation and confession." This how the Lent devotional series from She Reads Truth would end?
This is going to suck...
Was honestly my first thought.
...and yet heal me.
Was my second.
I was already familiar with meditation, but confession, well, that's different. Yes, as a Protestant, we confess our sins directly to God, and it's great. But I realized over the course of the week that too often my confession goes something like: "I'm sorry God for all the bad things I'm sure I did today. And moving on..."
I don't often really think about my sin. It's uncomfortable. And I certainly don't talk about it with anyone else, despite what it says in James:
"Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective." (James 5:16)
That's beyond uncomfortable, to a level of vulnerability that I can only aspire to.
But praying the prayers of confession with the She Reads Truth
community was exactly what I feared, and hoped for.
It felt like removing a deep, deep splinter.
You know it's going to hurt, but the only way to heal is through the pain.
This prayer in particular ached for days:
Prayer: “The Deeps"
Give me a deeper repentance,
a horror of sin,
a dread of its approach;
help me chastely to flee it,
and jealously to resolve that my heart shall be thine alone.
Give me a deeper trust,
that I may lose myself to find myself in thee,
the ground of my rest,
the spring of my being.
Give me a deeper knowledge of thyself,
as saviour, master, lord and king.
Give me deeper power in private prayer,
more sweetness in thy Word,
more steadfast grip on its truth.
Give me deeper holiness in speech, thought, action,
and let me not seek moral virtue apart from thee.
Plough deep in me, great Lord, heavenly husbandman,
that my being may be a tilled field,
the roots of grace spreading far and wide,
until thou alone art seen in me,
thy beauty golden like summer harvest,
they fruitfulness as autumn plenty.
I have no master but thee,
no law but thy will,
no delight by thyself,
no wealth but that thou givest,
no good but that thou blessest,
no peace but that thou bestowest.
I am nothing but that thou makest me,
I have nothing but that I receive from thee,
I can do nothing but that grace adorns me.
Quarry me deep, dear Lord, and then fill me to overflowing with living water.
from The Valley of Vision: A collection of Puritan prayers and devotions
, ©2001, The Banner of Truth Trust, p.75.
And quarry deeply He did.
So many things I'd long repressed and hadn't even thought of in years came bubbling up to the surface over the last 40 days. I caught myself saying, "Not that deep God!"
But then this final week as I've read through the accounts of Jesus' final days on earth, his prayer for us, his agony in the garden
, the mock trial and crucifixion.
But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed.
So as Lent ends, there's nothing left for me to do but lift my empty hands, and pray:
Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed.
Labels: Faith, Lent, ReLent, Spiritual Growth