She stumbled to the gate, her soul broken and tattered. Her hands grasped for the gate as her knees collapsed, smacking the floor.

She couldn’t speak. Her mouth was dry, her strength had faded, and her words had run out. Her feeble self, in contrast to majesty, made her hang my head in shame.

“You don’t belong here.” One voice whispered. “He’s too holy to look at you and help you scrub off your scum.” The voice continued.

Weakly whispering to herself, she said, “but He told me to come… I may not be here boldly, but He said I could find mercy, grace, and help (Heb. 4:16).”

A tear slipped down out of the corner of her eye, leaving a clean streak on her dirt-covered face.

“I know I don’t deserve to ask.” She began quietly… “but I have nowhere else to go.”

“I’m overwhelmed.” She took a deep breath to muster the courage to admit, “I’ve lost sight of you… again.”

She turned herself around so that her back rested on the heavenly gates. Peering out in the distance, all she could see was the darkness and smog she’d just trudged through.

“It’s so dark out there.” She said pensively and then said, “and here.” She said looking down at her heart.

She folded her knees to her chest and rested her arms on top. Then, burying her face in her arms, she sunk into the gates behind her and cried.

Her mind wandered to when she and her Savior were close — as if they were dance partners with their feet moving in sync. But as time went on, she’d gotten distracted. She let too many things pull at her attention. Suddenly she was going from here to there with no rhyme or reason. Her eyes were off her Savior and on all the things she had to do and all things she wasn’t.

“How did I allow myself to drift?” She thought to herself.

Suddenly there was a hand on her shoulder. She startled and looked back. Seeing who it was, she tried to turn away. He gently lifted her head (Ps. 3:4) and said, “My child, you don’t ever need to turn away from me. My sacrifice was sufficient for you, even when you wander. My arm is not too short to save (Is. 59:1-2). Nothing is too hard for me (Jer. 32:27). It was the joy set before me that I endured the cross (Heb. 12:2). Nothing can separate you from my love (Rom. 8:38-39). I always come after those who are mine (Jn. 6:37). My child, don’t forget you are mine (Is.43:1).”

“Lord, I need you. Why do I always stray?”

“Because you’re behind enemy lines. The world hates you as it hated me (Jn. 15:18). The enemy wants to steal, kill and destroy (Jn. 10:10). He wants to steal your affection and devotion for me.”

“How do I fight it? Sometimes it all feels too overwhelming. So many things are not what they should be, and if I am honest, I am not who I want to be.”

“Who do you want to be?”

“Your servant.”

“You can be.”

“But I don’t know how.” She said.

“Be a beggar at my gate.”

He could see the puzzled look on my face. “What do you mean?” I asked.

“Come to me, not with your accomplishment, not with your abilities, and not with your agenda. I want your heart no matter the condition…

Come as a beggar desperate for food; for I am the bread of life (Jn. 6:35). I will sustain you (Is. 46:4). I have everything what you need (Phil 4:19). Meet me in the morning, throughout the day, and in the evening. If you need wisdom — I am all-knowing (Ps.147:5). If you need strength — I can give you strength (Is. 40:29). Remember: I am the Lord your God. A warrior who saves. I will rejoice over you with gladness. I will quiet you in my love. I will delight in you with singing (Zeph. 3:17). But you must decrease (Jn. 3:30).”

She listened pensively… and then spoke.

“I’m going to need your help. Please remind me that I am nothing, and apart from you, I can do nothing (Jn. 15:5).”

“Always, but before you come to the gate, come by way of the cross (Gal. 5:24). Then when you cone, come, ask, seek and knock (Matt.7:7). Wrestle with me over things You can’t understand (Gen. 32:22-32). I promise I will always be here (Deut. 31:6). Then, I want you to pick up your cross, deny yourself, and follow me (Matt. 16:24). Only through me can you experience life to the full (Jn. 10:10). And when you get home, which I am already preparing (Jn. 14:3), I will welcome you with open arms and say, ‘well done good and faithful servant (Matt. 25:23).’”

Your plans are perfect, but all we see is broken

Your truth is a light, but my eyesight is dim

Lord, over and over, my heart needs to be cracked open

And I need your blood to cleanse me from within.

Make me a beggar at your gate

For you, Oh Lord, are the only one who can keep me straight.