I was having a little trouble breathing, but nothing serious. I didn't want to get dressed, but I ALWAYS go through the whole hated routine - even when I'm sure I won't see a soul all day - like today. So I did a quickie - light on the hair and makeup, sweats. Not quite ready for a Vogue photographer to show up. That alone deepened my distressed frame of mind ... not looking my best :-)
Then...I was almost 'dressed' when I got something in my eye, a foreign object. I couldn't get it out, and It just kept getting worse, and then my breathing began to get worse. And now I had one eye with no makeup... I was getting into a 'state.' I finally became completely undone.
I fell down on my knees at my nearest prayer spot and just began sobbing. It went something like this (to the Lord):
Oh, Lord, I'm such a mess. I just can't get it together this morning. How can I read or write with this thing in my eye? My joy is gone this morning. I'm tired. What's wrong with me? I'm such a wreck. I'm such a miserable failure [I elaborated at length on that]. I need help. Can you please take this eye thing away from me? I can't breathe, and I can barely get things done with BOTH eyes these days. I just can't function with one. You've GOT to help me. And yet why should you? I'm falling apart here. Oh, Lord, I can't take a 'dark night of the soul' day on top of all this. [WHAT?! Talk about making a mountain out of a molehill!]
But, Lord, this is proof of how miserable I am. Because look at all the wonderful blessings I have, and here I am whining about absolutely nothing. Oh, Lord, you've given us blessings beyond belief (began naming them....) and I'm so sorry. I've been so ungrateful, such a miserable ungrateful fool. A wretch. Oh, Lord, forgive me. I don't deserve all the blessings. Why are you so good to me? Oh, praise your holy name...(etc...praising myself into a different state).
That was the gist of it. I got up, got some coffee, and sat down with the four books I am trying to read this morning (!). I could see now - the mote was gone - but I couldn't concentrate. I had a choice, now. The eye thing seemed gone, so there was really no choice. (No excuse.) I CHOSE to go back into Joy Mode for a couple of minutes, and I emerged .... well, JOYFUL! My old self. I'm BACK, LORD! Thank you SO much!
Now this was my morning devotion. Inadvertent, yes. Unorthodox, yes. But this was the situation which presented itself to me. It lasted maybe 20 minutes or so. But, the Lord had a purpose in this. I can't say for certain what it was, but 30 minutes later I could concentrate perfectly and I actually got quite a bit of writing done. And after that bit of cathartic repentance, I bounced back into my usual of state of JOY!
Now, I share this for a reason. Many people have trouble picturing me in this scenario. That is a spiritual handicap for me. And it cheats them out of some truths they may be seeking about personal prayer and devotions. I am at an age where people should be able to expect to gain insights from my spiritual behavior. They have a right to expect that. Otherwise, I have not grown into a mature believer. I believe I am a mature believer, and all Christians need to know that no matter how one matures in the faith, his relationship with God always comes down to that of Father and child. Creator and creation. Potter and clay. Helpless and Help.
Since I seldom teach or speak in public anymore, I have few opportunities to share these personal moments that occur now and then, and I think they are important to share for any number of benefits we can gain from examples of the truthful prayer and devotional lives of others.
This morning may have been a far better devotional than a normal morning when I may spend an hour or two in devotions at a higher level of spiritual growth ..... WRONG! The highest level of growth is achieved during those most submissive moments when we comprehend EXACTLY who we are in relationship to our Father in heaven. We depend on Him for every single thing. And He is sufficient for every single thing - and quite a bit more.
This morning was for me a perfect devotional time. Oh! What a JOY to be in a close personal relationship with the Creator! Unbelievable....but that is what it's all about.