It’s three fifteen in the morning and I can’t sleep.
I’m tossed by the utter epicness of the failures in my life — the work I’ve done, the work I’ve yet to do, my relationships, my self-control, my, my, my, me, me, me — and sitting on the ground, staring up at the pile of fail, I tremble.
In that sadness, I’m confronted with the even more epic nature of God’s grace and love and mercy. It is breathtaking to behold. It is easier for me to list the number of times that I’ve taken the path of darkness, the ultimate wide road, and indulged in darkness that would leave you bug-eyed in the telling than it is to acknowledge that each and every time, in the middle of all that, He was with me. Waiting. Loving me. Manipulating my world with the skill of a million virtuosos, shaping even the darkest things in such a fashion to bring me to the reality that He already knew: that my heart would give up and surrender to Him. It would come down to weighing the mercenary, self-delusional nature of the gay world, the false and phoney ephemeral love based on the fleeting feelings of other men verses the love that would not let me go. The love that did not cherish my simple foolishness I considered wisdom, but whipped out the Damocolean Sword of Scripture and cleaved me and my Gordian Knot of bullshit entirely in half. To the bone. To the heart of everything.
Even faced with that incomprehensible love, how rebellious my heart! I would trade in my birthright for a bowl of someone else’s stew! Fill my hunger now and to hell with eternity! Don’t give me the strength to endure, fill my swollen belly with more, more, more! Don’t make me give, I don’t have enough. What happens if You leave me? Gimme! Gimme! And the heavens fill with the sighs of a weary God and He holds me close and tells me more about how much love is really contained in the word “no” than my rebellious heart will ever admit. He tells me, a man who thinks instant gratification takes too long, that the word “wait” was made just for men like me. And while we sit by the fire and wait for blessing to come, He teaches me about rest. About knowing. About the things that it takes to be a man after His own heart, not mine. Like a baby grabbing for the bottle, all I know is that I need and want THAT. More than anything. My soul screams “yes!” and everything I am sets course to obtain it. As it should be, He says. And trust Me, He says. I will answer that soul’s scream. You will become the man that you and I both desire you to be. Satisfaction will be yours, for the price of obedience.
In the face of the reality that we are all eternal beings, that there is so much more to come, He bids me to look over the landscape of failure with eternal eyes. What looks like failure, what looks like addiction to the flesh that will never break, becomes one long apprenticeship. I’ve tested all the corners of my own power, all the corners of my weak and selfish faith, and I have experienced firsthand the comforts of failure. He puts his hand on my shoulder and whispers the truth: “You are not done. And I am not done with you. I will give you the strength that seems so far away. Trust in me. I know your deepest desires. I know what you truly and passionately desire after. I am all those things. Be patient. Rest. Wait. Prepare for a long journey ahead and take that when it is done, You and I will be together.”
Suddenly, bed calls like a long-ignored lover.