Monday, May 14, 2012

Covered


(Image found on Google Images)
He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your shield and buckler.
Psalm 91:4

I tossed and turned a lot last night. Sleep doesn't always come easy, especially after eating my brother-in-law's "hot hamburdogger" creation yesterday. It was Mother's Day and my newly-mommied sister hosted a BBQ. Or it could be the serving-or-two-or-three of Marie Callendar Pie - among other things - that did me in. (Three childbirths over with - one so painful, I still cry about it - is a cause for celebration.)

So, wide awake, I started doing a little self-inventory and began to pray. God, are you tracking with me? After all, I bought some ugly shoes that afternoon (not realizing their ugliness at the time of purchase)... which later turned me into an ugly person - all because of shoes. And I kind of teetered on almost-snapping, but then remembered it was Mothers' Day and quickly simmered down. It made me wonder:

-Does God listen to women who struggle with keeping it cool, calm, and collected over something as simple as a regretful purchase?

And as my prayer took on a request-in-nature form, mixed with a little "this is how I see it, Lord," I soon dabbled in self-loathing, worrying about my kids' safety, and pondering whether or not my husband thinks I'm truly outrageous. And somewhere between wondering when to add the garlic when browning ground beef (that's ground sirloin if you're fancy) and trying not to look at the clock for fear it's almost morning, I began to think:

-Does God listen to those who skip straight to the request section of the Lord's prayer model, adding an "about me" section and spending very little time on the acknowledging/honoring/ thanking/asking forgiveness parts, all the while throwing in random, unrelated thoughts for good measure?

Then the answer hit me - yes! Yes, he does listen. And in my bed I remembered something about how we are to go boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:16).

Fueled by that verse, God suddenly became more approachable. Really? I can go boldly before him? The thought made me giddy, so I prayed even more - amazed that God wants me to cling to him in whatever human, strange, flawed way that I do it. Shame on the enemy for making me think I had no business talking to my father.

As A.B. Simpson in "Streams of the Desert" so brilliantly puts it, "This is the deep mystery of prayer, that we can just pour out the fullness of our heart... and know that he hears, he loves, he understands, he receives; and he separates from our prayer all that is imperfect, ignorant, and wrong, and presents the rest, with the incense of the great High Priest, before the throne on high; and our prayer is heard, accepted, and answered in his name."

And in that rare moment of clarity - understanding more of the heart of God - the word "covered" came to mind. A realization that Jesus has my back. He's got me covered. He's got the cost of my guilt and shame - stuff that usually makes me clam up and shy away from him - all paid for so that I can hold my head high, knowing God delights in both me and the lame "about me" sections of my prayers. Just simply and sweetly covered.

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