Coming to God

Fresh from the Briar Patch.

Instead of the thorn-bush will grow the pine tree, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow. This will be for the LORD’s renown, for an everlasting sign, which will not be destroyed.”
Isaiah 55:13 NIV
My Yellow Lab ran off today to frolic in a briar patch.  I am assuming he was after the deer that bed down in there during the day.  All he knows is his soul.  Whatever prompts his flesh to go after them is superseded by our whistles and calling for him to come home.
When he gets back home I tell him he is bad and make him lie down and think about what he has done.  Telling him he knows better than to run off and leave his mama worrying about him.  He looks at me with big brown eyes and then at the floor in shame.  He follows me from room to room until he lays at my feet. I see the briars on him.  Some fall off because he was not made to carry them.  Some stick to him and I have to remove them.  I see where he is bloody from where some have pierced his skin.  I look at him lovingly knowing he needs me to remove them and begin healing of his wounds.  I stroke his fur because I understand.
Briars by David Wagner
As I prepare to go for another counseling and E.M.D.R. session.  One I am not prepared for.  I think about how I must look to God.  My soul, so injured from all kinds of abuse and bad life choices, has led me to follow the call of the flesh into addiction and more abuse.  Though addiction has been overcome I still have temptations.  I also still have bent toward sins of the heart, and a mind that needs to be renewed.
Still, He continues to call me home, never scolding me when I shamefully return.  My Heavenly Father waits for me to return.  He calls and I look back as if to say, “Did you know my flesh is superseding Your love and healing?”.  All the while wandering further.  Running from discomfort and I hear Him call my name again.  I want to answer but still drawn to destruction. Life choices being made like a broken record play once again. Only surpassed by choices to run and hide from the issues of my heart. From the voice of the Healer.
15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 
Romans 7:15 NIV
Over the years I have gotten myself into more than one briar patch. God has often seen me in the distance and called me to come home. At hearing the call I consider that I know He is the only way to wholeness.  Then I come trotting back slowly in fear.  Wreaking of worldly desires, lack of trust, and full of need  I return to Him.  Panting with thirst with skin all covered in briars.  Some dangling, some stuck, some having pierced my skin.
When I have been where I shouldn’t have been the scene eventually unfolds like this:
I come in and lie down at His feet.  Looking up at Him with my big blue puppy dog eyes I say, “I am so sorry.  Please forgive me. Please love me.  Please help me.  Please heal me.”  Then I look away in shame. The Father would call me closer, gently life my head and say.  “The answer is I AM, I always have, and I always will.  He removes the briars from the floor that have fallen off on their own.  He tends to the ones that have stuck to me because I cannot remove them.  Then He removes the ones that hurt because they have pierced me, and washes my wounds with his word. While He discards them so they won’t hurt anyone else I wonder if I will ever heal because I hurt.  Even after he tells me they will I feel their sting.  Though I have a broken heart I am reassured by his presence.  I rest in Him comforting me. He fills my cup to overflowing, and feeds me well from His Word.  So again I follow Him wherever He goes. Like my dog Skeet I am happy to be home and warm.
I know what I should do when it is time to go out into the world.  I also know that I will be tempted to run again.    But, thank God for the blood of Jesus that cleanses us.  For a Father who is Love.  He waits in the window for us to return. When we come to God for forgiveness He not only redeems us from that sin, but can make it all work out for the good of those who love Him.   He turns our trials into triumph.  Thankfully I learn a little more each time I sit at his feet.  Each layer around my heart is peeled back and it reveals I can love like Him.  Eventually I don’t wander into certain briars again.  He set me free from briars so I can lead others to Him.  He sets me free and I can live again.
Scriptures to meditate on today:
Jeremiah 17, Luke 15:11, Isaiah 53:4-12, 1 John 1:9, 3 John 1:2, Romans 8:28
Blessings for you’re the Beloved of God.  Even when covered with briars.
Melinda ❤

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