I wrote this post over a month ago...but was too self conscious to post it. I don't like people to know my personal struggles. I've been thinking about this post...especially since the anniversary of this loss is rolling closer. February is a difficult month for me. I struggle with Valentine's Day. I even told my husband once that I hate Valentine's Day and that I don't want to celebrate it. Buy me chocolate and flowers on any other day of the year....but don't buy it on that day. He hasn't always listened to this advice.
Anyway...in my quest to be more honest about myself, I've decided to post it after all.
“You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.”
Psalm 51:16-17 NIV
For personal thought: which of the previously mentioned offerings would most involve genuine sacrifice on your part? Why? (Community Bible Study, Study guide for the book of Mark. Page 170)
The offerings mentioned:
- a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart (Psalm 51:16-17....the verse written out above in red)
- praise (Hebrew 13:15-16)
- mercy and acknowledgment of God (Hosea 6:6)
- our bodies and mind (Romans 12:1-2)
I stared at the question for several minutes while I considered each one of the choices, trying to decide what my answer would be. I came to the first choice: the broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart. "Well...I've gotten that one down," I thought to myself. I was about to look at the next choice when a second thought came into my mind. "But do you? Do you really have that one down?" I stopped and thought about it. I decided that I don't have that one down at all.
That one seems to be giving me the most difficulty. It seems like I actually hold onto my broken heart and my broken spirit. When I sense it slipping away...I grip it a little tighter...being afraid to let it go. I can't seem to sacrifice it entirely. Or is it that I won't sacrifice it? Perhaps I am afraid of losing the little bit I have left of something long ago lost. Really? Is that it? I can tell myself that this is foolish and faulty thinking. Do I really want this pain in my life? No! I hate it!
Then why can't I get rid of it? Why can't I just sacrifice it and be done with it? I know it is wrong...and yet I hold onto it. I can't...or won't really let it go. How do I put something on the alter that I have held onto for so long? There have been times when I've thought it is gone...but then there it is, back in my grip again. Must it always be a continual sacrifice? Again and again? Can't I just sacrifice it once and for all? Why must I see it once again in my possession?
I don't seem to have this one down at all.
"Oh, Heavenly Father. I sacrifice it to you. I lay it on the alter! I don't want it anymore! It is yours."