How happy is the one You choose and bring near to live in Your courts! We will be satisfied with the goodness of Your house, the holiness of Your temple (Psalm 65:4 HCSB).
When we meet with God, we experience the fullness of joy and contentment, but our meeting actually begins with God beckoning us. He draws us unto Himself (John 6:44). He chooses us.
But you don’t know my shame, you may be thinking. You don’t know what I’ve done.
I’ve felt the same way. As a young adult, I wrote a letter of blame of past hurts to my birth mother and caused her to feel such hopelessness that she attempted suicide. I had taught about the sin of bitterness at church, but I hadn’t dealt with it in my own heart. Why would God choose to meet with someone like me? It was because of His grace. He sat and listened to my brokenness, forgave me, and helped me start seeing others as He sees them. That’s how I was able to rise above my past and have the ministry I have today.
Jacob felt that he was unworthy of the least of God’s mercies because he had stolen the inheritance that rightfully belonged to his brother, Esau (Genesis 27). Still, God met with him and, in this broken man’s repentance, promised that Jacob’s seed would be as abundant as the sands of the sea. God also changed Jacob’s name to Israel (Pen. 32:10-12, 24-30).
King David felt that God might permanently send him away from His presence for arranging Uriah’s death and taking Bathsheba, Uriah’s wife, for himself (2 Samuel, chapters 11-12). There were grave consequences of David’s sin, but when Nathan the prophet heard David’s repentance (Psalm 51), he assured the king that God would continue to meet with him. Not only did God meet with David and forgive him for such a heinous act, but He blessed David with another child, Solomon. It was also into David’s lineage that Jesus was born.
The apostle Paul once testified of his feeling that everyone would consider him a hypocrite in his ministry after he had believers imprisoned, beaten, and he even approved the stoning of Stephen. However, God met with Paul, forgave him, and, far away from the old life he knew, gave him a powerful ministry to the Gentiles (Acts 22).
I don’t know your shame, but this one thing I know beyond the shadow of a doubt. Our shame is never so great that we have no hope of meeting with God. Instead, He encourages such a meeting because He already envisions the wondrous miracle that can come from it. His grace makes the meeting possible. His love, a love like we’ve never known before, makes the meeting worthwhile.