(At least I have my love?)
Ever been to a place in life where you’ve said to yourself, “I am undone and have nothing left” – leastwise, nothing left of value you would want to offer to someone you love.
From the world’s point of view I’d become a failure. Even if you’ve never been there – I knew I’d failed by worldly standards?
Years ago my life came to a point where I had nothing of real material value. I didn’t know it at that time, but I was in the center of God’s will for my life. I was in a God based version of a faith-walk.
Well, during said period of self-exploration and depreciation my wife and I traveled to Escondido California with a church group called Shiloh Ministries out of Sierra Vista, Arizona. We’d gone with Shiloh Ministries to launch a revival (cue the giant echo) of Biblical proportions. As you can imagine… God was chuckling for HE knew HE had not authorized this specific revival. That does not mean the Lord didn’t have other plans for our little group.
Two years earlier God let my wife and I know we needed to begin a “faith-walk”. For me… that meant quitting my job and trusting the King of kings with my finances: not fun even when you have finances to fall back on. For the first time in our lives we were penniless; zero resources; no income of any kind. I felt like a bum. Two years later as we pulled into Escondido we were living in a 58 foot Roadway truck, which we’d converted into a makeshift motor-home. We had it all – boy did we have it made – holidays and hogwash that is – no swimming pools or Movie-Stars Jed… When I say it wasn’t pretty you can believe – IT WASN’T PRETTY!
So here we were attached to Shiloh Ministries, penniless and dependent upon their leadership’s good-graces. Does that sound like a fun vacation to you?
One glorious morning a week or two into this fountainhead adventure (and though I jest, it was a wonderful adventure) I went walking to clear my head and spend a little private time in prayer with the Lord. As I prayed and assessed my position and shared my heart with the Lord, my apprehension grew. I lamented the fact I could no longer provide for my family or even give financially to the Lord’s work. It was a very precarious position which I believed was both unwise and unpleasant.
Eventually my prayerful meanderings left me sitting beside a beautiful shade tree listing over the side of a green and grassy hill. I looked up towards the heavens and literally cried out to the Lord, “Well Lord, I may not have any material things to give you, but at least I have my love, that I can give you.” Then as I sat there praying these heartfelt and solemn words to my loving Savior, my Lord, my Friend – the voice of the Lord rose within my spirit saying…
Wait! Would you like to know what He said to me; this loving and generous Son of God who looked down from above and saw my weak, wounded, vulnerable and unworthy-self crying out. Would you like to know WHAT EXACTLY HE SAID TO ME?
The Lord said, “No. You don’t even have that (your love) to give Me because the love you now have for Me… I gave that love to you so you could give it to Me. So you are only giving Me that which I gave you to give to Me. You have nothing to give Me that I did not give to you first. So even that love I gave to you. You have nothing of your own.”
HOW DARE HE! I was crushed. I couldn’t believe it and not because it seemed so cruel in my time of need FOR IT WAS NOT; leastwise, not really. It was truly what I needed to hear and know at the time. Reality or truth or faith kicked in and I knew He was right.
Suddenly, I couldn’t stand the idea that I had nothing to give God; nothing, NOTHING.
I had nothing to offer the Lord He had not first given to me; thus, even my love for His Wonderful love and mercy and goodness, even for God Himself was not mine and mine alone. How much more useless could a man become? I was empty, stripped naked before HIS throne. I was, am and always will be but a vapor, a blade of grass and undone before my King. I had and have nothing of my own which I could say I gave to my God; nothing which He did not first give to me. “Oh Lord! Oh Lord… that hurts!
Then the Lord opened my eyes spiritually and allowed me to see. Jesus loves, loved ever will love me when I was and am nothing; when I am nothing. When I had nothing to offer – He loved me!
He always loves, has always loved and will ever love us because He is our God and we are His sons and daughters.
All that I am – have been – will be – is the result of His creating me and loving me.
I just needed to stop thinking I had anything of true value to offer The-Creator.
He really is the Potter and I am merely the clay. Guess what… that applies to you too.
Among the billions – He chose me which means He has already accepted me as I am.
I am the OFFERING God created to be returned to HIM in full measure.
I know I was a bit hurt at first — but then Jesus shined His love into my heart and I simply sat there and cried, “Thank you Lord for Your mercy. I love You!