Smeagol is Free!
A hermitudinal view of...stuff...



Isaiah 48:9 - 11
"For the sake of My name I delay My wrath, and for My praise I restrain it for you, in order not to cut you off. Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction. For My own sake, for My own sake, I will act; for how can My name be profaned? And My glory I will not give to another."

There are times in life where I want to be alone. Joshua Harris talks about a situation where he wanted solitude, so he closeted himself in his office to cry. He decided that wasn't enough, so he went one step further by closeting his closet in his office. Sometimes, solitude looks like that: a quiet closet, dark, and utterly hidden. At others, it looks like a big, big world, with a speck of flesh and bone to dot its sprawling surface, hoping for some loving soul to come along and break the silence

It's in times like these, times of dire solitude, that I find my gaze being lifted from my self-pitying self and looking where I ought: Jesus. I'm reminded then that I deserve wrath, and that I deserve to be cut off from knowing any joy at all. I'm pointed once more to the fact that my circumstances are refining circumstances, and even though such a thorough eradication of sin ought to have ended one like me long ago, God held back His judgment, granting me refinement that leads to life. When I'm tempted to indulge in self-pity, I'm shown that all I'm going through is for a far greater purpose than I can imagine, and with a far greater hope than I can ever hope in.

It would be easy to end there, to think that all that I deserve of God's wrath and judgment just evaporated into nothingness. But that is not the case. When my gaze is lifted to Jesus, it's a reminder that He bore the wrath I should have borne. Jesus knew a loneliness that I only see in hints and shadows, for it was Him that the Father turned away from, not me. And yet, what the Father's purpose in all of this? It is for His glory that He acts, for the sake of His name. I have a hard time accepting that beautiful purpose, I really do, because I want so desperately for my life to be about me, and no other. I want to see with clarity the paths set before me, the people I'll get to know, the things I'll get to learn. And yet, to what end would that be? My soul would find itself shriveled, gnawing on itself in vain pity, unable to lift its gaze to what is truly wonderful, truly amazing. Instead of that, God faithfully reaches down and pulls me out of despair in the best way possible, not by allowing me to wallow in the muck and mire of selfish desire, but by burning away all that should not be there, leaving only that which delights in the things that are most delightful. And what is most delightful? His glory.

posted by Bolo | 10:15 AM
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