When I’m not faithful, He still is.
Guilt can be an overwhelming and all-consuming feeling. In my experience it comes, more often than not, like a maverick, with crushing weight. It holds you hundreds of feet below the surface, strangling you from even the smallest relief. As you struggle and fight, pumping arms and legs for freedom, intellect slips away. Counterintuitively, professional rescuers say one should give in to the wave- let it roll you, let it pound. Let it grind, endlessly, having its way with you. Hold your breath and stay calm and wait for it to relent. Because it will relent. And when it does you swim, for your life, to the surface. Only then do you have a real chance of survival.
Guilt works the same way. The more we resist it and fight, and the more it will swallow every ounce of who we are. Intellect will leave you. You will unceasingly, and unsuccessfully, pump your arms and kick your legs and try to swim for relief from its crushing weight- and you will go nowhere. You will make no progress. You will feel more exhausted and more defeated than you did when you started your fight. You will have no victory, because guilt will win every time.
Because, in reality, we need it. In order to truly understand our depravity, we must experience the devastating weight of what we really are – completely and utterly incomplete, true deservers of guilt. And when we understand our true depravity, we can understand, although not fully comprehend, our desperate need for a Savior. And that Savior is the same One who will pull us up to the surface after the wave has gone. He is the only One who will meet us after the maverick because He is the only One who can withstand its weight without a breath. He’s the only one capable of sitting under it without being crushed. And more importantly, He’s the only One willing to be rolled under it with you. Look beside you- He’s there. Wait with Him as He waits with you, and then swim for your life. Oxygen lingers on the surface, along with a life of more mavericks and a faithful presence beside.