Last Christmas was one of those rare perfect days that crop up every so often. There were just the six of us from my family and a guy from church and his girlfriend but it was a time of happiness, laughter, presents, good food and my brother failing to be good at yet another board game. It was one of those memories that are worth treasuring away.
It stands out in particular because in the months that followed I went through some pretty dark times as God and I had a few difficulties to sort out. By that I naturally mean that all the difficulties lay with me and I have quite a number of memories of days when continuing the Christian walk just seemed so pointless, days when I reached out for God and couldn’t find him, dark days, painful days because it felt like my God had forsaken me.
It struck me that this pretty much sums up life. There is so much happiness to be had in this world and so much grief as well. It is hard to meet anyone who is a stranger to suffering, it is hard to meet anyone who has not known times when they hurt more than they thought possible. So we have this dichotomy that runs throughout a man’s life and his very being: such more good, so much evil and pain.
There is nothing more beautiful than a broken man weeping before God.
Why is the man weeping? He weeps because he is broken and he weeps because he is before God and that throws his brokenness into even sharper relief. He weeps because he has become aware of the greater extent of sin in his life and that he has indeed fallen short of the glory of God. He weeps because of the ungodliness within him, he cries out for his faith is weak and he does not think of God as he should. He weeps because he desires with a burning passion to rejoice in God and this desire is unfulfilled and the joy that should be so abundant is absent. He is broken because he is so self centred and thinks not of others and his prayers and thoughts revolve himself instead of his God. He weeps because the darkness seems strong and he has fallen. He is broken and knows that he is unworthy. And he weeps for he is not as obedient to God as he should be and the idols of his heart bear a heavy price on his soul. His heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.
Why is the man weeping? He weeps because above all else he remembers the words of his God:
“The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul…Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
Psalm 23 v 1 – 4