Covenants. Some are beautiful and promising like the gracious covenant God has made with His people through the atoning work of Christ on the cross. Or, like the hopeful binding of two souls becoming one in sickness and in health, forsaking all others. But some are devastating. Some rob us more than they serve us. The "I will never let that happen to me..." or "I will never be like that..." covenants are simply dangerous. They fetter us to our own pride and self-reliance. Who has successfully kept these covenants with themselves without deep-seated resentment or just plain exhaustion?
I haven't. And let me tell you, I have made covenants. In fact, I made one such covenant about a month ago just after my second miscarriage. To give you some history, a month after my first miscarriage (this past November) I entered into a spiritual numbness. The numbness eventually melted but only after coming to terms with the utter depravity in my heart: the fact that I wanted to rule my universe and everyone else's around me.
So my covenant looked something like this: I will not let myself enter into a spiritual coma this time.
I was determined to keep my spiritual senses alive and sharp. Though this desire seemed right and good, the Lord revealed its true root: pride. I could go on and describe in detail how He graciously answered my covenant but the Puritan John Newton does a much better job. Thank you to my sweet, dear friend who gifted me with these verses.
I Asked The Lord
I asked the Lord that I might grow
In faith and love and every grace
Might more of His salvation know
And seek more earnestly His face
Twas He who taught me thus to pray
And He I trust has answered prayer
But it has been in such a way
As almost drove me to despair
I hoped that in some favored hour
At once He'd answer my request
And by His love's constraining power
Subdue my sins and give me rest
Instead of this He made me feel
The hidden evils of my heart
And let the angry powers of Hell
Assault my soul in every part
Yea more with His own hand He seemed
Intent to aggravate my woe
Crossed all the fair designs I schemed,
Cast out my feelings, laid me low
Lord why is this, I trembling cried
Wilt Thou pursue thy worm to death?
"Tis in this way" The Lord replied
"I answer prayer for grace and faith"
"These inward trials I employ
From self and pride to set thee free
And break thy schemes of earthly joy
That thou mayest seek thy all in me,
That thou mayest seek thy all in me."