Personal Update: Hello Friends, I’m aware B for B posts have become less frequent over recent months. Some of you know my husband and I have an adult son with some very complex health needs with whom we are highly involved. A close relative has been undergoing treatment for a serious health issue and the recent loss of my father has left my elderly mother also needing emotional support. The combination of all these factors has had a significant impact on my time and also left me somewhat physically and emotionally exhausted. Some would call it ‘burn-out’. I still have plenty to share and will continue to do so but forgive me if your new Bread for the Bride posts are not as frequent as they have been in the past. I hope they will still encourage and bless you nevertheless. I know many of you share these posts with others and/or use them in Bible Study groups. Please continue to share your Bread for the Bride posts for mutual encouragement in these difficult days.
Today I want to share again a post first published in 2016 that I feel is even more relevant right now than it was even back then.
I’m not on top of things today Lord. I’m more Martha than Mary. I’m sure you’ve noticed. So many things weighing me down and distracting me. It’s not where I want to be, you know? There’s so much to be thankful for….and I am. It’s so selfish of me not to be living that thankfulness out more joyfully. Instead, here I am letting the world and its problems affect me. Forgive me, I should be demonstrating a victorious life to everyone I come in contact with. I wish I knew how to do that better. I must be the world’s worst example of an overcomer. I know you are changing me into your image, but, sometimes I wish the process could be quicker, you know?
You are all fair my love, and there is no spot in you!
Oh wow, I just stuffed up big time, didn’t I Lord? I am so sorry! How do you put up with me? Seems every time I take a step forward, I take two backwards trying to live this Christianity thing properly. I should have seen that temptation coming….but I fell for it again, didn’t I? When will I learn? God, why don’t you just give up on me? But I know you don’t ‘cause that’s not who you are. At least I’ve learned that much. And that makes me feel even more, well, disappointed in myself. I should be sooo much better at following you by now. You’ve shown me nothing but unconditional love. God, l let you down – again! I’m nothing but a big time loser, you know?
Behold, you are fair, my love! Behold, you are fair! You have dove’s eyes.
God, please help me. I’m so scared I’m not gonna make it. I try so hard to keep your rules, just like I was taught. But I’m so weak. Even if it looks to everyone else like I’m doing everything right, still in my heart I’m envious, I get angry at people, and OK I’ll say it, at times I’m even tempted by lust. I love You Lord but why did you make it so hard to be your disciple? I’m almost at the end of my rope with it and I don’t know how much longer I can go on like this. I heard someone teaching that we don’t need to live under Old Testament commandments any more, but that’s so far from the idea of Christianity I’ve been taught, I’m almost too terrified to consider it. God, I shouldn’t be struggling like this, should I? Shouldn’t I be strong and secure in my faith like other people I know who don’t seem to be wrestling with such things. You know?
How fair is your love, my sister, my spouse! How much better than wine is your love, and the scent of your perfumes than all spices!
How long O Lord? Have you deserted me? I know what Your Word says, that nothing can separate me from your love. But these heavy chains are making my flesh raw and it’s hard to think of anything else but my pain and misery. I’m not sure any more when day ends and night begins in this dark cell. I miss my family and my home, I miss my friends, I miss sunlight and fresh air and the freedom to walk where I want to walk. How long will I be here? I try to remind myself about your own sufferings and remember that they hate me because they hated you. But the darkness presses in on me and I wonder how long I can stay faithful to you in here Lord. I should be strong and fearless but I’m not. I don’t know what they’re going to do to me from one day to the next. People outside think I’m some kind of hero but the truth is I’m not anything like you. I’m scared I’ll die here away from everyone I love. I feel like a coward. Do you know what I’m sayin’ Lord?
You have ravished my heart, my sister, my spouse; you have ravished my heart with one look of your eyes, with one link of your necklace.
How could you do that to me God? How could you let that happen? You gave me something so beautiful, and now you’ve taken it away. I thought marriage was supposed to be for life. At least I thought mine would be. I thought I was safe. Why did you let me think like that when you knew it was all going to fall apart like it did? I thought I’d found your will for me and nothing could alter that. I thought I could trust, but now I feel like I’ll never trust again….not even you. My friends keep telling me you’re in control and you love me. But do you? I’m not nearly as sure as I used to be. Oh God, where are you? This hurts God, this hurts so bad. I don’t understand, I just don’t understand. You know?
Your lips, O my spouse, drip as the honeycomb; honey and milk are under your tongue; and the fragrance of your garments is like the fragrance of Lebanon!
Lord, we’ve covered some miles together, haven’t we? These old eyes have seen a lot. And I’m tired Lord, more tired than I ever knew someone could be. When you took me under your wing I was young, confident, hopeful. And little by little you began to draw my eyes away from myself and what was mine to you and all that is yours. There have been many valleys, and not a few mountaintops Lord. But now? Well, now, I don’t want to see anything more on this planet. I am weary. My bones hurt and my soul aches to be gone from here. It aches for this life to be over and the next to be started. Can I go now, Lord? Will you draw the curtains and let me depart? I am old and useless. I am not afraid of death Lord, but I am weary, oh so weary. You know?
Oh my love, you are as beautiful as Tirzah, lovely as Jerusalem, awesome as an army with banners!
Jesus, here I am again. Feeling that old familiar ….well, you know, that ‘yuk’ feeling. I know I’m washed in your blood and I’m clean, but sometimes those old memories come flooding back. Things I’ve done to people, things people have done to me. I know, I know, I’m not supposed to be looking back there. I’ve been told often enough I’m a new creation and you’ve made all things new for me. And I do believe that Lord. But then that flood of memories from my past hits me, and I’m trapped in that old shame again and I lose sight of all you’ve done for me. Will I ever get past that shame? I mean, that old life shouldn’t have any effect on me anymore, should it? God, help me, I feel like I’m drowning here, you know?
O my dove, in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the cliff, let me see your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely!
A day in the life of the Bride…..depends on your vantage point.
But God is so rich in mercy; he loved us so much that even though we were spiritually dead and doomed by our sins, he gave us back our lives again when he raised Christ from the dead—only by his undeserved favor have we ever been saved— and lifted us up from the grave into glory along with Christ, where we sit with him in the heavenly realms—all because of what Christ Jesus did.
(Eph. 2:4-6 TLB)
© Cheryl McGrath, Bread for the Bride, 2016 and beyond. All rights reserved. Copyright Notice: Permission is granted to freely reproduce any Bread for the Bride articles in emails or internet blogs, unaltered, and providing this copyright notice is included. To permanently display an article on any static website please contact me for permission.