© Jeanne E. Webster
Joel 2: 12, 13
“Therefore also now, saith the Lord, turn ye even to me
…with all your heart,
…and with fasting … and with weeping … and with mourning.
…And rend your heart and not your garments,
…and turn unto the Lord your God,
for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.”
Lord, I stand before You right now with a broken heart. I’ve been beaten up, stomped on, slapped, cussed up one side and down the other, spit on, kicked, stolen from, friends and loved ones turned their backs on me, left me utterly desolate and shamed me to the core of my spirit. Yet You want this broken heart crushed further, and you would have me fast and weep and mourn. For what? I’m hemorrhaging right now from the viciousness of others.
What? They have done the same to You?
Huh? Me included?
You want me to realize that I have broken Your heart; I’ve beaten up and stomped on Your Holy Spirit? I have shamed Your Holy name?
You mean…I’m like one of them?
Lord, I have dwelt upon my own bodily bruises from the world and not realized…
I’ve been inflicting pain and suffering to You by not living as You have commanded me. The world has occupied my thoughts and goals. Now I understand Your words here in Joel.
I’ve been too busy feeling my own pain and meting out my own justice.
I turn back to You, Father, with all my heart. With fasting, weeping and mourning, help me to examine my spirit and repent of the evil that lies within this mortal body. I know You are gracious and merciful towards those who repent. Forgive me for my sins and guide me back to where we left off, as “one in You, and You in me.”
Return Your spirit to me, Lord, and renew my love for You. Forgive the many times I have left you in the lurch, going instead with the flow. When I realize I was hurting You every time I cursed, every time I envied someone, every time I hated someone for hurting me, every time I lost my temper and spoke unkind words to someone, every time I looked upon someone with distain because of their race, sex, or lifestyle, every time… every time…
Lord, help me get back to the little one You picked up and dusted off a long time ago.
Yes, I remember that moment. Thank you, Lord, for saving my soul.
Rend my heart, fast, weep, mourn? How dare I not!