To thine own self be true—Shakespeare
Unlike most, I know I have it all together.
I am a person of substance and value.
People listen when I speak,
As words of wisdom roll mellifluously
From the essence of my being.
My life is an example for others to follow.
At least, this was who I considered myself to be.
Then, You came and shook my foundation,
Which was not built upon anything worthwhile.
Knowing my vulnerabilities and insecurities,
You rocked my world like no other.
In an instant—in a flash, I was undone.
I was not who I thought I was.
I was not what I claimed to be.
When You revealed me to myself,
I stood naked—laid bare before Your eyes,
Unable to hide my shortcomings from Your scrutiny,
From the truth of who I really was.
Broken, embarrassed, and unnerved,
I recoiled, consumed with shame and humiliation.
In my despair, those who claimed their loyalty
Abandoned me, while enemies delighted at my misfortune.
In an instant, Your blessings—the outward manifestation
Of all I thought to be of value—seemed to vanish.
No longer confident, I am fearful of the future.
Like no other, you have shaken me,
Revealing me to myself, and I am undone.
Father, when will this nightmare end?
When will it be enough?
When will Your heavy hand of discipline subside,
Restoring me to a life of peace, joy, and purpose?
Will Your pruning ever abate, or will it last a lifetime?
Only You know; only You have the answer.
Be merciful to me, for I have learned my lesson.
O, how I regret my arrogant, self-serving ways
That I was too foolish to see or to acknowledge.
I beseech You—Hasten the day of my restoration,
Lest my sorrows overwhelm me,
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials; knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:2-4)