FROM HERE TO MATURITY
By: Carole L. Haines
Oh Lord, You have found me out, searched me to the depths and revealed to me Your findings. It frightens me to see the darkness within. You know everything I’ve ever done, every thought I’ve ever had, every word I’ve ever spoken. You knew it all before I even did any of it. But You demonstrated Your love to me so clearly when Jesus died in my place while I was still a sinner. When I was Helpless, Hopeless and lost; You broke into my world and loved me, and that love has never wavered for a moment. Even as I see my own darkness, You already know it all and it does not change the way you see me, it does not change Your love.
Father, I’ve taken my life into my own hands, made my own plans. I’ve moved forward with what I wanted, and it has been my undoing. You know my plans for my own life and have scattered them to the wind. Your love is too wise to let me have my own way. My eye has not seen, nor have my ears heard, nor has it entered into my thoughts yet, the beautiful plans You have for me. They are good and wonderful plans; they give me a future and a hope. You are able to do exceedingly abundantly above anything I could have dared to imagine. I now bow to Your Sovereignty and goodness, knowing that You are the vine and I’m merely one of many branches. Apart from You, Lord Jesus, I can do nothing, I see and know this now!
You are familiar, intimate even, with all my ways. You know why I do what I do; why I say what I say, and why I think what I think. You know every motive of my heart. You know those secret places deep inside where I retreat when I’m afraid; places I let noone else see. You see, Lord, you see to the deepest depths of my soul! I do not do the things I wish to do; but see myself doing the very things I hate. Wretched man that I am, who will rescue me from the body of this death? Thanks be to God, I am rescued thru You, My Lord Jesus Christ. And there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Father, I’m so ashamed, I’m hurting so bad from all I’ve done, all I’ve been; Lift my head to know joy and gladness once again. You have enclosed me from behind and before, I am written on the palm of Your hand. At first I felt cramped and confined; suffocating; I yearned to break free and live my own life. My hearts’ cry was, “Freedom,” yet little did I know back then, that my idea of freedom was really a trap, a snare, that would imprison me. You laid Your hand upon me and kept it closed so that I couldn’t go so far into my own ways and be destroyed. You let me wander a bit but I could never flee from Your Spirit. Your Presence, Your very face is ever before me. I tried to run from You, hide from You in my reckless pursuit of my own way. But everywhere I turned…I ran right into You. You love me too much to ever turn Your face away from me. You have never turned Your back on me, never said “I’ve had it!” You have never given up on me, even when everyone else seems to have; even when I have given up on myself, Your love never wavers. ** Jesus, only You have known what it is to be truly forsaken; only You have cried from the brokenness of a cross, “MY God, My God, why have You forsaken me?” I have felt forsaken, Lord, even by You! But I see now that You bore this loneliness due to me so I would never know abandonment; so You could redeem me and call me Your own. I am Your very own, and always will be. Bought with a price, purchased from death to life; transferred from the darkness both from within and without, into your marvelous Kingdom of Light.
The knowledge of Your ways is marvelous to me. Wonderful are Your thoughts, Lord, I treasure every single one. If I should ever try to count all the thoughts You have revealed to me they would outnumber the sands of every seashore upon this earth. I’ve been asleep in my reckless ways, me destructive pursuits; asleep in this nightmare I’ve created. Yet, When I awaken from my folly, my madness, I am still with Thee. When I awaken from what I called my own dreams and hopes and plans, and find they are empty meanderings; I am still with Thee. Better yet, YOU ARE STILL WITH ME! Truly the promises of God are Yes and Amen!
You formed me from the inside out. My eyes, my personality, my hair, my temperament. You chose my strengths and carefully countered them with my weaknesses. You brought me into this world: I was not born because my mom and Dad wanted me, nor because the world needed another person in it. I am not a freak of nature, a senseless happening, a momentary weakness. I am not a mistake. I am born because You, my God wanted me; and I am born-again because My God wants me still….. You want me! Finally, my face is plastered on a “WANTED” poster…Yours! I belong to my creator. I’ve finally found where I was meant to be, with someone who loves me perfectly. I’m cherished and precious and wanted by my God and King.
Though I had sold myself as a slave to the taskmaster of sin; I was doomed to perish. And in Your Holy justice, Lord, you have declared that the wages of sin is death. But only One death would be required, and it would not be mine! Only one death could be worthy, an acceptable sacrifice to You. So You stepped down from Your throne and turned to Your Father and said, “I must go and find these lost sheep; I must buy them back, though it will cost me my very life. My Lord, Father God, You let Jesus come down here, You have purchased me back with what was most precious to You, Your One and only beloved Son. Marvelous, too wonderful are You my God and Father. I worship You, I lift my voice to You, I lift my hands to You; now more than ever I see what I’ve been saved from and I marvel. Who is the Awesome God I serve? Who is this beautiful Lord who purchased me in order to set me free. I am a miracle of God, a walking miracle of His marvelous Grace, His undying Love, His Mercy beyond measure! I am…only because… HE is!
No longer do I resent your searching of my soul. I cry out to You, O Lord, to examine me, penetrate me to the core with your gentle, loving eyes. I want you to find me out. Try me, test me and expose my divided mind, my unstable ways. Expose any hurtful ways, and ways of pain bodily, spiritually and mentally, Lord. Now, Lead me in that eternal, tried and true, way of Your own. Your everlasting way is without end, time out of mind, always right, always true. Lead me dear Lord, deeper into You.