A month or so ago, I went through a period of a couple weeks where I listened to Danielle Rose's song Give and Take each night while I laid in bed praying. The lyrics are beautiful, and I found that they really helped me put my life in perspective. Throughout the song, the lyrics encourage a desire to surrender everything, to give up anything necessary to be close to God. Not only that, but to do so joyfully, praising God for the blessings that remain.
One night, as I prayed I told God, with a mixture of guilt and desperation, that I just couldn't do it. My love for Him was lacking something necessary. And in that moment, in my mind, I saw Jesus on the road to Calvary. As I told Him that I wasn't enough, that I couldn't do it, He looked back at me and said in a tender, yet sorrowful, voice, "I know." And He turned around, and continued carrying the cross, to His death, for my salvation. Because I couldn't do it.
Last night, during adoration at XLT, I was meditating on the story of the loaves and fishes. I placed myself in the character of the young boy. I imagined myself working hard to catch those fish. I imagined getting the bread and preparing to take both back to my mom. All the while, in the background of the scene, but constantly making its way to the forefront of my mind, I saw a large crowd, gathered around one Man, listening to Him preach. As the disciple approached me, telling me that this man was the Messiah and that He wanted to feed everyone gathered there, and then asking me if I would give what little food I had, the story stopped. Suddenly I wondered, was this all the food the boy had? Did he give his whole basket, or just some so that there would still be food to take back to his family?
Since I was imagining myself as the boy, I had a decision to make. Would I give my whole basket? But how could I? I mean, wouldn't Jesus want me to still have food to take to my family?
I stood in line for Reconciliation as the band played The Stand. One of lines says "So I'll stand, with arms high and heart abandoned, in awe, of the One who gave it all..." Of the One who gave it all. I couldn't give my whole basket; I couldn't give it all. But Jesus, He is the One who gave it all. He held nothing back.
My Father in Heaven knew, eternally, that I could not do it. That He would have to send His only Son to do it for me. As I struggle to find joy, to be at peace with praising Him for what remains what I give all to Him, and I as sit there, holding on to my basket, trying to justify not giving Him the whole thing, He picks up His cross, walks the road to Calvary, suffers and dies. And His Father responds to His offering by continually showering grace upon me in my imperfection. All of this so that, one day, I may be close to Him, when nothing, not even the failures of my life, will stand between us and our love.
Oh how I need Him.