Running. Faster and faster. Feet pounding in rhythm with my aching head. My sides are heaving; I need to stop and breathe, but I can’t. I won’t. Because if I stop, I might see the cuts on my feet. I’ll notice the pain and I’ll start limping. And if I start, when will I stop?

I’m trying desperately to ignore Your whispers, trying to keep going my own way, trying to ignore Your urging to pull up and step aside. Because I know I’ve messed up. And if I know, of course, You know. And if we talk, maybe You’ll want to talk about my anger at my friend’s breach of trust or my unresolved hurt over someone’s actions.

I don’t want to talk about it.

I know you won’t call me a failure. I know you won’t rub it in. But I’m doing that enough for both of us at the moment. If I stop and listen, will You shout louder than my own voice? Will You be mighty enough to overrule my accusing heart?

So it’s not really You I’m running from – I guess it’s myself. Like Adam & Eve, I’m hiding from my own nakedness as much as from Your holy presence.

How can You see me and still love me? In my head, I believe it because You said You love me. But in my heart? In my heart I stand in stark disbelief. I dislike myself at the moment; how can You have known it all and died for me?

People say failing isn’t something that we should despise, but that we should see it as a way to learn and move forward again. It’s true, but seems impossible at the moment.

The only way I don’t see this weeks’ failures as definitive of who I am is because You say something different. You say You’ve ordered my steps – even the ones that appear to be missteps. You say You’re working it all together to make me more like Jesus. You say none of it – not even death – defines me. Only Your love does that.

You say that when my heart condemns me, You are stronger than my heart (1 John 3:20-21). I hope that’s really true. ‘Cause that’s the limb I’m stepping out in. I’m going to stop running. I’m going to start limping. I’m going to start listening.

I’m trusting You’re strong enough to make good on the promise that “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus”.

Oh, please whisper to my doubting heart that it is true.