Through a friend’s blog, I came upon someone else’s blog who had put Psalm 34:5 at the top of her blog. The verse describes exactly what I have seen in my life over the last month!
I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul makes its boast in the LORD;
let the humble hear and be glad.
Oh, magnify the LORD with me,
and let us exalt his name together!I sought the LORD, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant,
and their faces shall never be ashamed.
For a very long time I looked to the people around me to give me affirmation and confidence. Though I have been a Christian for about twenty years, I was not boasting in Him. That’s not to say that I never spoke words of praise. I did love Him and I could see His work around me and even in me. But when I heard others boast in the Lord, I wasn’t always glad as David says in verse 2. I was too focused on myself and my shame. I once had a teacher who called shame a form of pride because it means that we are putting ourselves above God. He was right. I could not be glad or radiant because I was thinking too much about me. And me without Him isn’t much!
But now He has turned my face towards Himself. He has captivated me and freed me from the shame. I am looking to Him now and I am unashamed! My dear husband even told me one day that I was radiant. I had to grin and know that it wasn’t me. It was His Spirit finally able to shine through!
This is why I write. I can’t remember a time that I didn’t enjoy writing. But even this I hid for some time. I was ashamed. I didn’t want people to think that I was a religious nut. I didn’t want people to see me as self-righteous. I still struggle with my flesh and have times of shame, self-righteousness, fear, and all the rest. But what wonderful grace that even in those times He will always be near!
Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me.
And He is always ready to restore.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:9
It truly is “amazing grace” that not only frees us from shame, but is willing to bring us back over and over and over again!