HAVE YOU ever felt like you don’t deserve something good? Or that you can’t get closer to God, let alone serve him?
You know the feeling. You feel imperfect, stained, or broken somehow. I’ve felt this way many times.
It usually happens after you’ve made a mistake. Or maybe you are called to more responsibility, and it frightens you. Or you might be stuck in harmful cycles you can’t escape from.
And there you are — stuck.
When this happens, you end up buying into one of the biggest lies ever — that God only wants the good. We trick ourselves into believing that only the saints can get close to God.
And sadly, we keep our distance. We close our hearts.
In many ways, our world has gone crazy — so many imperfect souls demanding perfection from others.
Meanwhile, on the inside, we struggle with our own contradictions. Our hearts ache from uncertainty, but we pretend not to notice.
Today, many of us face enormous challenges during one of the most complex times in history. And you wonder, am I up to the task?
There’s so much I don’t know. There’s so much at stake. What happens if I fail?
And even though we go through the motions of life, on the inside we’re unsure and afraid. Our brokenness and imperfection seem insurmountable.
It’s no surprise that many are driven to despair. They’ve decided that nothing really matters.
How many of us feel, in some way, that we all stand upon a precipice?
But how does God see you?
He sees you with the eyes of eternal, infinite tenderness. He knows you are fragile and broken.
He saw the tough times you faced. He’s aware of the deep wounds you carry inside.
And he knows how you sometimes feel ashamed — and due to this shame you might hurt others or hurt yourself.
You might even reject his mercy since you think, what difference does it make anyway?
He knows it all. And what’s his response? What’s God’s answer to so much hurt and pain?
It’s his Son. It’s Jesus.
He sent his only Son to hurt and bleed for you and with you.
Maybe you’ve heard this a thousand times before.
But stop and consider it again. Let it sink in.
Let the truth pierce your hardened heart. God sent his only Son for you.
If you have a child, you can understand this even more. Imagine giving up your child for the benefit of others, even for those you disagree with. Even for those that hate you.
That’s how far God goes to get your attention, to let you know beyond a doubt that he exists. He is with you, and he loves you.
Then something incredible comes out of this relationship, this heavenly love. It’s your obedience.
God is not a tyrant that makes unreasonable demands. And we don’t earn our way into heaven. No. It goes much deeper than that.
Instead, it’s his loving gaze upon you. And with him watching, you can stand up for yourself.
You see yourself for who you are. You see all the spots and wrinkles, and you say, so what?
Yes, in many ways I’m a mess, but that’s okay. That won’t hold me back anymore. Even despite my brokenness and shame, I can move forward in grace.
I won’t deny my hurt. I won’t deny my mistakes and uncertainty. But those things don’t define me.
The cross is necessary, but it’s not the end. And I can begin to live the promise of eternal life here and now in my reality.
The Resurrection is my guarantee.
So cast out all those things that you do to sabotage and hurt yourself. Expel all that negativity and self doubt.
Be patient with others struggling with their inner demons as well. Join with others to multiply the blessings.
God does not demand or expect perfection. Instead, he is overjoyed by our honest effort. Angels sing praises to the Lord when we try hard and trust God.
And behind us, the strong wind of his Spirit drives us forward, onward, together as one Body.
And for that person standing all alone on the ledge, get their attention. Let them know you see them with tender eyes.
Let them know beyond any doubt that their existence matters.
Don’t just tell them. Show them.
God exists and he loves them.
. . . . . . .
fear not, for I am with you,
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.Isaiah 41:10
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