Cry Out to God Honestly

I requested permission to re-post Paul Lenzi’s poem, “Kneeling Toward Sacrilege”, because it’s beautiful, raw and real—and because it offered an opportunity to share about my faith. 

It has required a half-century’s journey for me to come from the place of fearing the wrath of a distant God—to living in His grace, resting in the comfort of His intimate embrace.  Much of my life I was ignorant about the Lord; some of the time I was blatantly rebellious, resentful that He hadn’t done more for me.  Looking back, I see that when I was faithless He remained faithful, never forsaking me.  He knew me, understood me, loved me fiercely, and was never surprised or shocked by the situations from which He had to rescue me.

He was present at my conception, and He’s never left my side for a second because, although I didn’t realize it for a long while, He had already put His seal on me.  I’m a chosen daughter of the King, and He’s not going to let me go, no matter what.

A faith relationship with God is not static—on our side.  Unlike God whose character is unchanging, we are “characters” He’s created of bleeding flesh and breaking bone, often unstable in body/mind/emotions.  When things are going well it is easy to believe in and trust Him, to worship Him with thanksgiving and praise.  But when life goes south we may panic, guessing He’s not paying attention, or perhaps is vacationing while we muddle through some calamity.

Paul’s poem reads much like the Psalmist David’s* cries from the heart—the heart that reverences God, but has gone as far as it can go in its own strength, and perhaps in its faith as well.  Frank agony and despair, a soul worn out and reaching for the release of the abyss, whatever it may hold—many of us will experience this at some point in our lives, regardless of the depth of our faith.

It may come with repeated losses, traumas, failings, illness or injury; life events which pile upon our weak frames till we are prostrate in the dust, our tears turned to ash on our cheeks.  Where can we go—shattered, our faith an empty shell?

We must know who we are, and where we stand with God.  If we’ve accepted the shed blood of Christ on the cross as the remission for our sins—past, present and future—we are children of Almighty God, the Father, and joint-heirs with Christ.  Our salvation is secured forever; we will go Home one day, to spend eternity with God in Heaven.

He is also our provision for life on Earth; every possible need we have has already been supplied by Him.  We only have to ask in His Name and according to His will, and He’ll answer.  Often when we think He’s forgotten us, it’s because we have outlined the answer according to our meager mind’s lack of wisdom.  God, who is unfathomable, infinitely creative, and works outside our understanding of time, frequently has an answer completely different from the memo we’ve sent Him.  It takes practice to pray with patient trust that “Father knows best”.

The Bible, God’s Word, is full of scriptures about what God loves and doesn’t.  He’s a rewarder of faith; He’s not partial to the prideful, and tender toward the humble.  I’ll tell you something else that is evidenced in His relationship to people “back then”, and now.  God desires that we be honest with Him—not just fessing up when we’ve messed up, but telling Him how bad it hurts when it does.

There were times in the past when I was too upset to speak (or pray).  I was so wounded, angry and frustrated with the injustice and disrespect being visited on me, that I was spitting bent nails and blue curses.  I was sick and tired of Everything!  But I’d go into a silent steaming sulk, rather than talk to God—because I’d forget how much He cares for me, forget all we’ve been through together, forget the RELATIONSHIP. 

One time, after four or five days of the silent treatment, He told me it was important that I not cut off communication with Him.  He already knew all the feelings and thoughts racing rancid through me—and He wasn’t surprised, shocked, angry nor disappointed in me.  He said He’d prefer rage-filled shouting, to silence.  Bottling things up is not healthy.  How can He bless us when we’re shutting Him out?

We need to run TO Him.  He wants to hold and comfort us, to reason with us, to solve our problems, to heal us.  We are His beloved children—He cherishes the relationship He designed for us to share with Him.  He is the Good Good Father.

The psalmist David knew, as do I, that because we are weak—because sometimes our faith is in tatters, seemingly impotent—we need a Really BIG God, Mighty in Power, with broad strong shoulders, and a heart which never quits loving us and never surrenders in battle for us. 

And that’s the God I know.  He doesn’t expect us to be more than we are; and our faith needn’t be greater than a mustard seed.  When the going gets impossibly tough, we only need to fall into the arms of The Father and cry out to Him. 

I Chronicles 5:20-22 says, “They were helped…for they cried out to God in the battle.  He heeded their prayer, because they put their trust in Him…because the war was God’s”.

“So will I save you, and ye shall be a blessing.” (Zechariah 8:13b)  I hope that readers will benefit from my “sharing”—and Paul’s poem, which follows.  (Please click his title link and leave comments for him there.)

©Jael Sook, 2017 All rights reserved.

Kneeling Toward Sacrilege

falling from hope

onto knees of despair

so much pain

from abated belief

from failed faith

in the power of prayer

a convergence of

miseries ravages

body and soul

piquant reverence

of youth become

bitter with age

and resentment

resigned to this

supplicant posture

of bone upon stone

bent in sin of misgiving

no promises offered

a simple agnostic appeal

to that ghost of a god

for empathic release

sweet relief of release

©Paul F. Lenzi

~~~

*Psalm 6:1-9

1 LORD, do not rebuke me in your anger or discipline me in your wrath.
2 Have mercy on me, LORD, for I am faint; heal me, LORD, for my bones are in agony.
3 My soul is in deep anguish. How long, LORD, how long?
4 Turn, LORD, and deliver me; save me because of your unfailing love.
5 Among the dead no one proclaims your name. Who praises you from the grave?
6 I am worn out from my groaning. All night long I flood my bed with weeping and drench my couch with tears.
7 My eyes grow weak with sorrow; they fail because of all my foes.
8 Away from me, all you who do evil, for the LORD has heard my weeping.
9 The LORD has heard my cry for mercy; the LORD accepts my prayer.
~~~
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6 thoughts on “Cry Out to God Honestly

    • You are most welcome from my heart’s depths–and my prayers continue with great faith and joy that God is even now lifting you up. Here’s a fave quote from a wonderfully entertaining movie: “Everything will be alright in the end, so if it is not alright–it is not yet the end”. Indian saying from “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I cannot tell you how close your journey has been to mine and I felt a positive shiver as I read

    “…although I didn’t realize it for a long while, He had already put His seal on me. I’m a chosen daughter of the King, and He’s not going to let me go, no matter what.”

    It only became evident to me later in life too that the Lord had been there for me since conception as I grew in faith. One the strongest pictures I’ve ever had was when a friend offered me a word they believed God wanted me to know which was “…set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.” ‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭1:22‬ . As soon as they uttered these words the image of me as a child taking myself to church was like a photograph in my mind.

    Very encouraged by your blog. It has awakened in me the fire of faith I used to have which, over the last few months, has been left rather lukewarm due to circumstances. Thank you Janel, I’m glad I found you ♥️ X

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    • Your words are a balm of blessing to me, thank you so much–and thanks for sharing that fabulous 2 Corinthians verse! The world is so precarious–and unfortunately, people/relationships in it, too–that we’d be sunk if we didn’t “know that we know that we know” Jesus is unmovable, His love unchanging, and that ‘seal’ on us cannot be removed by any source or scouring. Feel the JOY of the Lord today, sister!! ❤

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