Act of Approach – Shortcomings

Ullswater Treeline Sunrise I

O Living God,

I praise you that I see the worst of my heart as well as the best of it,

That I can grieve for those sins that carry me away from you,

And yet it is your mercy revealed that you judge sin,

so that I might return, pray, and live.

My sin is to look on my faults and be discouraged, or to look on my good and be puffed up.

I fall short of your glory every day by spending hours wastefully,

By thinking that the things I do are good, when they are not done for your purposes,

Nor do they spring from the commands of your Word.

My sin is to fear what never will be; I forget to submit to your will, and fail to be quiet there.

But Scripture teaches me that your active will reveals a steadfast purpose for me,

And this gives peace to my soul and causes me to love you greater still.

Keep me always in the understanding that your saints mourn more for sin than do other men,

for when they see how great your wrath is against sin,

and how Christ’s death alone satisfies that wrath,

that makes them mourn even more.

Help me to see that although I am at times in the wilderness of life

It is not all briers and wasteland

I have bread from heaven,

streams of water from the rock,

Light by day and fire by night

Your dwelling place and the seat of your mercy.

I am sometimes discouraged by the difficulty of The Way,

Though it is a winding and trying path,

it is safe and short;

Death dismays me, but my great high priest stands in its waters,

And will open to me a path,

And beyond it is a better country

While I live, let my life be a testimony of your grace,

When I die, may my end be eternal peace.

Adapted from The Valley of Vision, p.154-155

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