O HOW it hurts me. To give up, to give in. I want it all deep down, don’t I?

I want the house on the hill and the white picket fence. I want to avoid the struggle and pain.

The things that haunt me, that hurt me, I want them all gone now.

Why won’t God do this for me? Let me make the rules.

But it doesn’t work that way, does it? And my selfish side can’t stand this. Not at all.

Maybe I’m too proud. Maybe it just hurts too much. Either way I want control.

So by grace alone I kneel to pray. And there is anguish.

Why won’t you let me have my way, O Lord? If you are God Almighty, what stops you?

Remember how many times I let you have your way? — he asks me. I let you call the shots. I did not stand in your way.

Many times you choose to ignore my guidance. And knowing this, you worked in the shadows.

Did you expect freedom without consequences? You reap what you sow.

Even today, as always, you are free to choose. But now you struggle as you desire to control the thread of existence, the destiny of others.

And that I cannot allow, as they are mine and I set them free as well.

But what about the sick children, the injustice, the brutal cruelty that crushes lives and spirits every single minute of every single day? — I insist.

You tell me your Son suffers and cries with us, is that supposed to be enough?

Tell that to the grieving mother who lost her son to gunfire.

Tell that to those living in dismal slums with barely a crumb to eat.

Tell that to those enslaved to addiction who would do anything to quit but just can’t.

And so my anguish grows.  

Don’t you see my child? — he asks me.

How long have I been with you, and you still do not see?

I set them all free.

And all are free to stop the killing.

All are free to heal the sick.

All are free to feed the hungry and embrace the addicts.

And I set you free to go to the lonely, unstable, unsatisfied and resentful masses.

So if you want me to work, go there. Be my hands, feet and heart and exercise your freedom to make a difference — even in the shadows.

Did you not see the example of my Son, how he did this?

Look upon the cross, upon the broken Christ, and begin to understand.

My Son is the Good News.

Freely, he gave himself to be given up for you, for freedom, for love.

Yes, my child, you are free, even to commit atrocity.

But by the blood of the Lamb you can be holy as my Spirit lives in you.

And in his presence, he gently unties the knots that tangle me up inside. My stronghold comes crumbling down.

And yes, it still hurts. I’m still haunted sometimes by the howling in the night.

But remember, children of the Most High…

The hand of God is upon you.

Do not fear the night.

He sends you forth to be his hands, feet and heart.

In freedom, choose the way that leads to life.

And rejoice in the consequences. 

. . .   

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16

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