It feels like I’ve finally found the cement—no further to fall…
Yes, Rock bottom.
Can it be?
Oh God, I hope so.
The sages say when you find rock-bottom the only way is up.
Oh, God… what would “up” look like?
This hole is so deep—my pain now my constant companion.
Up? On what planet does the “up-life” live?
I thought arriving in this vineyard was finding my inevitable rock-bottom… nope.
I thought, the 1st year, 2nd year, 3rd year… nope.
Facing the loss, the pain, the grief, the abandonment—nope!
Walking away from You.
Yep! Stony-cold-dark-rock-bottom… when I started hating You.
I used to think that it was impossible for a “Christian” to hate God.
Impossible! Unthinkable treason!
(You and I know different.)
No lies between us—nope.
That was our deal. Our contract.
No phony, plastic, posturing… nope.
No matter how ugly the truth, no matter how hard rock-bottom…
Face-to-face, heart-to-heart, no bull, no blarney… right?
So here we are God.
I’m in this vineyard of graves and fruitless vines; led here by You… and I’ve finally said it.
I hate You for bringing me here…
leaving me here…
for only God knows what purpose!
(No bull in that.)
The DREAM-MAKER’S Promise:
“My voice You shall hear in the morning, O LORD; In the morning I will direct it to You, And I will look up.”Psalm 5:3Psalm 5:3 English: World English Bible - WEB 3 Yahweh, in the morning you shall hear my voice.
In the morning I will lay my requests before you, and will watch expectantly.
Father, I’ve only this, “…the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!'” [Luke 18:13Luke 18:13 English: World English Bible - WEB 13 But the tax collector, standing far away, wouldn’t even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’
To not feel the weight of my chains, even for a few hours, was such a relief!
Now, that’s gone too.
Now, no matter what I do. I feel. I see.
And worst, I think!
Oh, what a blessed relief it was, not to think!
I suspect You’ve something to do with this!
Not bad enough You’ve brought me here.
Now You’ve taken away all anesthesia.
Now I see myself as I really am—this fruitless tree!
Isn’t that an oxymoron God?
A fruit tree with no fruit?
Couldn’t You have just let me be?
Was it so much to ask?
Your silence is my answer.
This pain! This throbbing, pounding, relentless pain!
Wasn’t it enough that I hate this place?
Do I now get to hate You, too?
The DREAM-MAKER’S Promise:
The Prophet’s Anguish and Hope
3 I am the man who has seen affliction by the rod of His wrath. 2 He has led me and made me walk In darkness and not in light. 3 Surely He has turned His hand against me Time and time again throughout the day.
4 He has aged my flesh and my skin, And broken my bones. 5 He has besieged me And surrounded me with bitterness and woe. 6 He has set me in dark places Like the dead of long ago.
7 He has hedged me in so that I cannot get out; He has made my chain heavy. 8 Even when I cry and shout, He shuts out my prayer. 9 He has blocked my ways with hewn stone; He has made my paths crooked.
10 He has been to me a bear lying in wait, Like a lion in ambush. 11 He has turned aside my ways and torn me in pieces; He has made me desolate. 12 He has bent His bow And set me up as a target for the arrow.
13 He has caused the arrows of His quiver To pierce my loins. 14 I have become the ridicule of all my people— Their taunting song all the day. 15 He has filled me with bitterness, He has made me drink wormwood.
16 He has also broken my teeth with gravel, And covered me with ashes. 17 You have moved my soul far from peace; I have forgotten prosperity. 18 And I said, “My strength and my hope Have perished from the Lord.”
Lamentations 3:1-18Lamentations 3:1-18 English: World English Bible - WEB 3
1 I am the man that has seen affliction by the rod of his wrath.
2 He has led me and caused me to walk in darkness, and not in light.
3 Surely against me he turns his hand again and again all the day.
4 My flesh and my skin has he made old; he has broken my bones.
5 He has built against me, and compassed me with gall and travail.
6 He has made me to dwell in dark places, as those that have been long dead.
7 He has walled me about, that I can’t go forth; he has made my chain heavy.
8 Yes, when I cry, and call for help, he shuts out my prayer.
9 He has walled up my ways with hewn stone; he has made my paths crooked.
10 He is to me as a bear lying in wait, as a lion in secret places.
11 He has turned aside my ways, and pulled me in pieces; he has made me desolate.
12 He has bent his bow, and set me as a mark for the arrow.
13 He has caused the shafts of his quiver to enter into my kidneys.
14 I am become a derision to all my people, and their song all the day.
15 He has filled me with bitterness, he has sated me with wormwood.
16 He has also broken my teeth with gravel stones; he has covered me with ashes.
17 You have removed my soul far off from peace; I forgot prosperity.
18 I said, My strength is perished, and my expectation from Yahweh.
I used to think, “One day, some day, some way—He’ll come. You would come!”
You’d spin the dial on the padlocks in my life and I would be free!
When did it happen?
I just stopped.
I stopped looking for You.
I stopped expecting things to change.
I’m looking back over my shoulder trying to see the day or the moment when my hope turned to stone.
Now I stare at my cell and my locks and I feel nothing at all.
It just stopped.
It all stopped working for me.
All the songs, all the sermons; people of faith look like aliens to me now.
Two-headed creatures from another planet!
I know You promised God.
My head knows.
But, my heart?
It’s over there, in the corner of my soul, curled into the fetal position, still… mute… cold.
How did this happen?
I should weep or wail.
I should be terrified, or furious, shouldn’t I?
My heart is on life support.
My hope is D.O.A.
I don’t feel anything at all, except… curious.
When did I stop believing God?
The DREAM-MAKER’S Promise:
“And it will be said in that day: ‘Behold, this is our God; We have waited for Him, and He will save us, This is the LORD; We have waited for Him; We will be glad and rejoice in His salvation.'”Isaiah 25:9Isaiah 25:9 English: World English Bible - WEB 9 It shall be said in that day, “Behold, this is our God! We have waited for him, and he will save us! This is Yahweh! We have waited for him. We will be glad and rejoice in his salvation!”
God? What good is church to one who no longer believes?
I can’t relate to those people God. (You know I can’t.) What am I supposed to do? Lie? Fake it? I hate that stuff! (And so do You!)
The only Believer I can relate to now is that honest-heart from so long ago. (You know the one.) His cry is mine as well: “LORD… help my unbelief!”Mark 9:24Mark 9:24 English: World English Bible - WEB 24 Immediately the father of the child cried out with tears, “I believe. Help my unbelief!”
I am so sick of candy-apples-church and cotton-candy-comfort.
How long, LORD?
Is this all there is until You return? These so-called men of God, who offer much, but deliver little!
Each week I go to the well for a taste; a touch; of You. Each week I go away with sugary words that melt away to nothing.
It all sounds so sweet, but years and years of this have left me so…
Hungry? Thirsty? Both?
Where are the true men who speak for You?
The ones whose words don’t fall to the ground?
Isn’t that supposed to be the mark of a true prophet?
I know no one is perfect. I know we all get it wrong sometimes. But LORD! These people are all empty words – promising all – delivering, oh so little!
Where LORD? Where?
On my left, vile ones; tombs filled with vipers and dead men’s bones.
(I couldn’t run fast enough!)
To my right? Sugary fluff! Looks good; sounds better; delivers less than nothing…
Because these ones leave you more empty, more desperate, than when you first came!
God, help me!
(No wonder I’m depressed.)
Your word promises You will not leave or forsake.
So here I am.
Feed my hungry heart with Your truth.
The DREAM-MAKER’S Promise:
“These are wells without water, clouds carried by a tempest, for who is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.”2 Peter 2:172 Peter 2:17 English: World English Bible - WEB 17 These are wells without water, clouds driven by a storm; for whom the blackness of darkness has been reserved forever.
I know I’m supposed to forgive my enemies God. (I know.) But I don’t even know where to begin… there’s so much stuff!
So many wounds. (They wanted to destroy me God!) They tried. Oh, how they have tried! Over, and over, and over again, and they almost succeeded God… so many times. (You know. – You saw.)
How do you forgive someone who is dedicated to the task of destroying you?
You know sometimes I feel just like a little kid again. Dad is standing over me telling me to, “Eat my yellow squash.” (I hate yellow squash!) I know it’s good for me… but that doesn’t mean I want to do it! (Yeah… just like forgiveness.)
Jesus help me. I can’t do this on my own. (They hate me so much… they wanted me dead!) It’s there in their eyes… in their deeds. Pure hatred.
So much, I can’t even bear to look at them anymore.
Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto
the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.
Psalm 51:1Psalm 51:1 English: World English Bible - WEB 51
For the Chief Musician. A Psalm by David, when Nathan the prophet came to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.
1 Have mercy on me, God, according to your loving kindness.
According to the multitude of your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions.
The words I wish I hadn’t said… the deeds so petty… so unkind?
If “saint” I be (and this I know) for Your own word declares it true…
Then why this “un-saintly” behavior?
I do not understand myself.
I let You down, and others, too.
I do things even I can’t stand, and think, and say…
(Well, God… you know.)
I’ve no excuse.
(I give You none.)
It’s for my failures that You died.
All I can do; all I can say; is hushed in shadow of Your cross.
I bow my head in shame’s disgrace, and wait for cross’ crimson tide, to sweep away sin’s heavy load.
Oh God… I thank You for this gift!
(You truly are my only hope.)
My hope is built on nothing less; than Jesus blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame; but wholly lean on Jesus name
On Christ the solid rock I stand; all other ground is sinking sand
All other ground is sinking sand
The DREAM-MAKER’S Promise:
“It seems to be a fact of life that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love to do God’s will so far as my new nature is concerned; but there is something else deep within me, in my lower nature, that is at war with my mind and wins the fight and makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. In my mind I want to be God’s willing servant, but instead I find myself still enslaved to sin.
So you see how it is: my new life tells me to do right, but the old nature that is still inside me loves to sin. Oh, what a terrible predicament I’m in! Who will free me from my slavery to this deadly lower nature? Thank God! It has been done by Jesus Christ our Lord. He has set me free.” Romans 7:21-25 The Living Bible