“I want to do what God wants me to do. Then the moment comes when He actually asks me to do it. And all of a sudden I don’t want to do it anymore.”
This seems to be a banner over my life. I want to do what He asks. I want to be obedient. I want to follow Him above all else, trust Him above all else, and rest in Him above all else. Until that’s what He asks of me. It’s scary. It’s unknown. And usually it involves dying to myself. And death sucks. It’s not supposed to feel like daffodils and butterflies.
I knew this day was coming. I knew that this addiction couldn’t last forever. I knew that one day He was going to acknowledge me standing before him pouring out my worship and praise and awe and then say to me “I love you. But before all this, we have got to talk about whats in your hand.” I don’t know why I thought for so long that He would just overlook “this”. I have been willing to talk about almost everything else…everything else was open for discussion…but not this. This is my thing. My one thing. It is the thing I defend at all costs. It is the thing for which thousands of justifications have been made.
It was Good Friday. I knew that it was the day. Plans had already been made to meet up after I got off work. The cold and shiny razors that had been my companions for years would no longer be in my possession. I couldn’t bear the thought of throwing them away. I mean, really, who could throw their best friend into a dumpster? To calm some of the anxiety over it I decided to give them to a friend. When I say “I decided”, what I really mean is that she asked me for them and I reluctantly agreed.
I paced back and forth, up and down, around both cars…anywhere I could attempt to escape the moment. She didn’t force it but she was very intentional.
“What are you feeling? What are you thinking about all this?”
I was terrified. I was angry. I was sad. But in the same instant, there was a sense of pending relief from this burden. I thought maybe, just maybe, this would be the end of it. I waited until the last possible moment. I knew that she needed to get to bed. It was already the beginning of saturday morning and the thunder and lightning started several hours before. After she graciously prayed over me, I jumped out of her car with a fleeting thought of escape. I got about as far as my driver side door before the thought left me. I reached across my center console and grabbed all the razor blades I collected from various hiding places. I couldn’t even look her in the face. I opened her door, dropped them on her passenger seat and slammed the door. I heard her yell “I LOVE YOU AND I’M PROUD OF YOU!!”
The rain started falling and we just sat there in our cars. I didn’t want to leave. But she wasn’t going anywhere until I did. So I put the car in drive and pulled away. I didn’t go home. I just found another empty parking lot, which isn’t difficult in the pre-dawn hours. Car in park. Best friend gone. And I got out. Mostly to bury my tears beneath the rain.
I stood there. In that empty parking lot. On Good Friday. 2,000 years after all this sin was paid for. He invited me and asked me to put sin to death in my own life. He gave great courage and great hope. So I just stood there, letting the rain fall on my face with fury. A baptism of sorts. A symbolic washing. Again. It was in those drops I heard the beautiful refrain “you are clean.” And so I just stood there for a moment. Soaking it in. Begging God for a glimpse of what this means. He didn’t offer any platitudes or cliche responses. He just stood there with me. In the rain. In that instant, even though I’d been clinging to sin so tightly, he reminded me again – “I am making all things new.” At 2 o’clock that morning, as water covered my face, I was left standing there. A monument to his pursuit. A marker of his faithfulness. And an ebenezer to his promise of making me look more like his son. I was living, breathing, soaking wet proof that he is constantly making all things new.