Ezra 9:6 Oh my God, I am too ashamed and disgraced to lift up my face to you, my God…
Psalm 3:3 You, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory and the one who lifts up my head.
Have you ever sprayed air freshener and had the mist blow back onto you? Or have you ever walked through a crowd of smokers and had a trail of smoke surround you and seemingly follow you on your way. I remember once I was at the grocery store in the produce section. I reached in to pick out some cucumbers and the overhead produce mister started. Normally this is not a big deal, but that day the spout above the cucumbers was broken and is sprayed a fine mist right into my face. The droplets were so tiny they were not even visible, but they drenched my head and torso. I walked the rest of the way through the store carrying that water on me.
And so it is with shame. Shame covers us with a stench that follows us through our daily life. The enemy is cunning and will pull out his bottle of shame mist and spray us in the face. We won’t see it, but we will feel it and it will stay with us.
Confession time – I have been dealing with shame in my life regarding my sons for many years. I raised both an aggressor and an innocent victim. One is now is prison, and the other is thankfully thriving, working at a wonderful church, surrounded by beautiful people of God. My shame, or rather, the enemy’s shame mist, comes from the knowledge that this happened to my children right under my nose and I missed it. How can a mother miss something so big? The story of what happened is their story to tell, so I will refrain, but let me just say this – My heart still grieves the childhood I thought my boys had, and it is ripped wide open grieving the innocence lost in my boys’ youth. The enemy is cunning. He knows my grief is real and that my wounds have not yet healed and he sprays his mist of shame right into those open wounds until they fester and become infected with negativity, self doubt, and a full blown shame virus. And I hang my head and weep. Just as the scripture says above, I am too ashamed and disgraced to lift my head to the Father.
Psalm 3:3 is one of my life verses, and God has used that verse over and over again to minister to me and remind me that I am not able to anything without Him. Today is the first time that I connected these two verses and I can feel the empowerment and freedom that comes from knowing that Jesus took all my shame, disgrace, fear, sadness, sin, failure, and it is because of Him that I can lift my head. It is not through my own power that my head lifts, it is because of Him. My joy comes from Him. My peace comes from Him. My ability to worship Him with abandon is only because He lifts my head up to look upon the heavens.
So you see, the enemy has no power over me. His invisible mist of shame is wiped away by Jesus’ shed blood. My shame is gone and I am free!
Day 34 – I made some Lentil Cottage pie today and it is delicious. It was not very hard and cooking the lentils was a breeze in my Instant Pot. I had a long meeting this morning so I ate a smoothie on the way there for breakfast, had a fruit bar for snack, and came home to have pasta salad for lunch. I also ate some celery and Peanut Butter/Coconut spread. That always curbs my craving for sweet, even though there is not sugar in the spread.
Anyway… you can see me making the cottage pie over on my Instagram story if you are interested. (@graciegrin)
Day 34 wishing you a good night.