“When the people of the land come before the Lord at the appointed feasts, whoever enters by the north gate to worship is to go out the south gate; and whoever enters by the south gate is to go out the north gate. No one is to return through the gate by which he entered, but each is to go out the opposite gate.”
Ezekiel 46:9 (NIV)
I could feel it as soon as my eyes opened. It was going to be one of “those” days. You know the type. The saying, “When mommy’s unhappy, the whole house is unhappy” was created for those days. I felt sad, disappointed, frustrated and empty all roll up into one big ball of messed up emotions. I couldn’t really put my finger on it; I just knew that I had to get out before everyone woke up and I got our day started in the wrong direction.
I put on my tennis shoes, grabbed my key and starting walking out the front door. I wasn’t quite sure where I was going to run to; I just knew that it had to be far. Far enough for me to come back a different person. I knew that what I needed was to get alone with Jesus and have Him fill me up again.
As I started my run, the old thoughts came pouring immediately into my head. “You are not beautiful. You are not special. Your life doesn’t count.” I couldn’t believe that after years and years and years of reading the Truth, studying the Truth and even teaching the Truth I was still struggling with these dark thoughts. I suppose I shouldn’t expect the enemy of my heart to just lie down and give up. He knows my weakness and knows all of the buttons to push in my heart.
Just as the lies poured in, I retrieved the Truth that I had stored up in my mind and heart. He sees me as beautiful. He says He is wild for me. He says He is more than enough for me. He says He is all I need. As I ran and mulled over these precious chunks of His Word, the tears began to pour. This is what I needed. I didn’t need more words of affirmation from my husband. I didn’t need another pat on the back from a friend. What I needed was a new outpouring of fresh love from My Love. I needed to be reminded of who He said I was.
When we come into His presence, when we hold up our hearts to the One who created our hearts, He can fill us. He can change us so that when we come out, we are not the same as we were when we came to Him. I believe our verse in Ezekiel 46:9 is symbolic. The people of Israel were told that when they came into the temple area, they were not to come in and out through the same gate. They were to enter one gate to worship and then go out the opposite gate. So the same is true with us. As we enter into our special times with Him, whether that is in our bedroom, on our hammock, or out for a run, we need to come out the opposite gate. We come out different than the way we went in.
After an hour of running, crying and praying, I re-entered our front door. Now, I was ready. Ready to be the wife and mom that I needed to be on that Saturday morning. Being in His presence had restored me and I was ready to be His vessel for the rest of the day. I had been filled; now I was ready to pour out.
Dear Lord, I need You today. Living this life drains me and leaves me empty. As I come through your gate, change me. Pour your life and heart into me so that as I leave through the opposite gate, I am not the same woman as I came in. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.