The more I wrestle with God and learn more about myself, the more I realize just how much I fall short of His perfection. I tend to think I have come so far – that I have understood so much and surrendered so much of myself only to discover I have barely scratched the surface.
I think I have allowed Him into every dark corner and hidden room of my heart. Then He reveals more of my sin, like a part of myself I didn’t even realize I was keeping from Him. But he never bursts in, He is gentle and patient. He helps me to tear down my walls and rebuild the ruins behind them.
I think I understand His character so well. Then He reveals another facet, causing me to look at Him differently, interact with Him in a new way and to talk about Him with a fresh perspective.
And I am so indescribably grateful for this – for Him. He knows me better than I realize.
Recently, I have painfully and reluctantly come to understand that I am a fierce defender of my own heart. And often times I feel as though I am beaten to a bloody pulp in the midst of fighting for myself (figuratively, of course). But it is painful and exhausting work. I long for rest. I long for my knight in shining armor to appear and protect me. I long to let all of my inner walls down. I long for perfect love to cast away my fear and therefore to destroy any need for defenses.
As I was driving today and processing through this with the Lord, He brought these powerful lyrics to mind:
Defender of this heart
You loved me from the start
You never change
Through the highs and lows
As seasons come and go
You never fail
Day after day
Your love will remain
Faithful and true
You are good
And it made me realize that He longs to protect me, to allow me to rest and be at peace in His presence and His perfect love. He longs to cast away my fears and to be the defender of my heart – not me.
It is a beautiful, incredible truth – one that I am still reeling over. And part of me thinks “Well, of course I knew that! What has taken me so long to realize it?”
Which leads to more processing that I am sure I will need to hash out with Him. For now, at least, I know there is a letting go on my behalf for which He longs. Just as my own heart screams for the fulfillment of these desires, He responds with a resounding “Yes! I can do that!”
He can meet those desires. He can defend my heart and heal the broken parts. He can wrap me up in Himself so that I have no need for my own line of defenses.
He’s got my back – and my heart.
Why do you complain, Jacob?
Why do you say, Israel,
“My way is hidden from the Lord;
my cause is disregarded by my God”?
Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
– Isaiah 40:27-31