It is inevitable that we go to the altar naked (see yesterday's post) and that those who see us may be tempted to talk more about our shame than God's glory, but this cannot and should not keep us from the altar.
It shouldn't bother us that we are naked under these clothes. It shouldn't bother us that we have this empty place in our hearts that cannot be filled without Him. It shouldn't bother us that there are things in this life that we just can't handle on our own. It shouldn't bother us that sometimes, we need God so desperately that we'd be willing to make a scene about it and stand up and say so. We can't think that people must think less of us for needing God.
There's nothing to be ashamed about. We were created for such. We were created to crave Him.
We were created to walk beside our God. To talk with Him. To listen. To touch Him. To hold hands. To follow footsteps. To crush the grass under our feet together. To share a cup of tea. It got kind of all messed up when we tried to share an apple, but that doesn't mean that thousands of years later, we are not still created for this. We absolutely are!
Then it serves to reason that without God beside me, my life has a tangible void. An agonizing ache. An excruciating emptiness. And a profound vulnerability.
Because I wasn't created to do this on my own, and now it seems so many days like I have to. By the nature of the separation, I am more alone than I was created to be. And as we know from our experience of loneliness, being alone germinates other troubles. Feelings of inadequacy. Fear. Doubt. Questions. Anger. Nervousness. Anxiousness.
The only remedy we have for these is the filling of the void. There are those among us who try to satiate themselves with the wine of this world - both the good and the bad of it - and somehow we think if we can find a way to fill it here, we can avoid that taboo touchy-feely awkward moment of approaching the altar. Yet we are a people perpetually empty.
Because we were created to crave Him.
Nothing else is going to satisfy, and I don't know about you, but I get tired of chasing these other empty things. I get tired of saying there has to be another way. I've tried; there's not. You've tried; is there? No, of course not. There simply isn't. The only possible remedy for our gnawing hunger is to pour out our emptiness at the foot of His throne and plead with our Lord to fill us.
And I refuse to be ashamed to do so. He is all I need.
You know what? I'm going to go one step further and admit that He is all I want. I don't care if you know that. God has promised and proven Himself to be exactly everything He says He is, and that is better than any deal I've found walking this pavement. He has promised to be faithful, and He is faithful. He has promised to hear me, and He hears me. He has promised never to leave me, and I can't get rid of the guy (er...the God).
He has promised to love and cherish and value and honor and discipline and forgive and humble and hold me, and He has done all of those things almost too a fault. This God of mine...is almost too good for me. Not that I could fault Him for that because He promised that, too. He promised to be more than I'd ever think myself worthy of....and He promised to show me it's not about worth. So here is the lesson of Love.
I want that. I want that more than anything this world could ever offer me. And you cannot convince me that is a bad thing.
We must be a people who run to God's altar. We must be a people who run naked to His throne, our finest of robes flapping open in the wind. We must be a people who don't care what people think of that because we aren't paying attention to people anyway. We are running - hungry, thirsty, naked, empty - to humble ourselves before our God, to pour ourselves out and cry out for His living water.
Because we were created to crave Him. We are a people who need our Lord.
That's nothing to be ashamed about.