But I Will Teach Your Ways to Rebels


But you desire honesty from the womb,
teaching me wisdom even there
- Psalm 51

Repentance is such a misunderstood thing. I once heard it described that true repentance isn't just "grovel and behave". It's coming to God with a broken heart. It's returning to Him no matter how dirty or ugly you feel. It's vulnerability in places you've previously wanted to hide. It's the pursuit of an unguarded and vibrant relationship.

Sometimes we think about repentance as 20 lashes and a judgement stare. This may go against your proper Church education, but repentance doesn't just happen once. True repentance comes over and over and over again. We often think that we get one chance to be genuine and then it's over for us, otherwise it wasn't real in the first place. But that's human justice, not heavenly justice. It's something that we cannot comprehend, which may be why we so often don't get it. Repentance is a returning. Knowing that we can't do it by ourselves. Which is what I don't want to believe, but what I keep finding in the Book. I find myself getting so angry that I have to swallow my pride and return to the cross, when I know in my heart I should have been there all along. I never should have left in the first place.

God desires to know us. Good bits and the bits we want to hide. Repentance isn't pretending that it never existed in the first place - it's knowing that we're an unfinished work. Work that needs the hands of the Potter to make it new and finished and perfect. God has high, loving standards for us that we cannot meet on our own - ones that began from the womb. Before we were born.
Even though in this life we will struggle, question, sigh, and mourn - God's heart for us is that we will return to him with broken hearts. To embrace our own vulnerability. To see our need.
True repentance is scarier than putting on an act of ashes. It's knowing that our hearts will be broken over and over again from the weight of our own humanity. And to say to God that we will love and trust him anyway. Even though we are broken vessels. Even though we can't see the plan ahead of us. We still run to him, trusting him, knowing that his arms are open.

But I will teach Your ways to rebels,
and they will return to You.

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