Can we all agree we are doing the best we can?!
Yes, today might mean I need extra bucket loads of grace, but that’s just where I am today and God still loves me.
The other night I was rushing through a nightly devotional with my daughter because: WEARY and TIRED! So I threw out the discussion question to her, I can’t even recall what it was–yeah, I am that awesome at this devo thing. But her response shook me instantly awake.
She said, “I don’t need to get baptized yet, I don’t know the answer!”
Whoa! Hold the phone.
Yes, she’s been talking for a while about her desire for baptism, but when did my insecurity creep into her being?
I battle daily how I’m not “ready” for whatever God has put on my heart…I need to study more, I need to get my crap together before writing a blog post, I need to make sure all logs are removed from my eyes before sharing the gospel…you get the point. I know I am lacking.
And yet here this sweet, intelligent, thoughtful 8-year-old has already internalized her own version of perfectionism.
Okay, maybe I’m taking her comment further than she intended, but can any of us pinpoint when in life we decided we didn’t measure up? When was it that we decided it was up to us to fix our broken parts before we bring ourselves to Jesus?
I want to take this seriously because it’s this type of thinking that had me paralyzed for decades. And the more women I meet and do “life” with I realize how common this is for us.
Our bible study girls read a book a couple of summers ago that will not leave me alone. “Love idol” by Jennifer Dukes Lee changed the way I view my identity. The author helped set me free from needing approval from other humans! (Well, I definitely made great gains in this area, I still have to give this over to the Lord daily.)
No one can fill my insecurities, not my husband, family, or friends. Only Jesus. He’s the only One who can handle filling those gaping holes in my spirit, and when I let Him, it frees me to love others without needing anything in return. She explains how we are already “preapproved” in God’s eyes through Jesus’ blood. I can quit striving. (Praise Jesus for being our Sabbath rest!)
Yet, we live in a world that is quick to point out our flaws. Humans are very imperfect in their flesh and temporarily feel good about themselves when tearing others down to build themselves up. People mistakenly try to fill their holes by being cynical and critical of others. It can get very tiring being surrounded by this continual onslaught of lies; it happens just by being in the world. And as much as I want to believe I wouldn’t play those games as well, I know I do. I am ultra critical of myself. Others may criticize me unfairly, but I know where I fail, sin and how I compare myself to others. It’s awful. If I do not physically make a change when this runaway train starts racing down the tracks in my mind, it will spill over into impatience, anger and depression.
What I’ve been hearing God tell me loud and clear in my Spirit is to be in my bible as much, or more than, I’m on social media. Yikes. But it makes sense. Even though I tend to read mostly spiritual themed blogs, friends’ posts etc it isn’t the same pure Word that my soul is so thirsty for. It’s too easy for me to start comparing my writing, my life, my schedule to others which derails me. It’s time to remember hearing about the Word is not the same as being in The Word.
God means what he says. What he says goes. His powerful Word is sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubt or defense, laying us open to listen and obey. Nothing and no one is impervious to God’s Word. We can’t get away from it—no matter what. Hebrews 4:12 msg
As adrenaline from sweet Caroline’s statement coursed through me I made sure she heard me as I told her (and myself) that we will never know it all, be enough, or “have it all together” this side of heaven, but the amazing, freeing Truth is that we were purposefully made lacking.
Whew. We can take a deep breath and exhale.
We were made to lack so that we continue to seek Jesus who fills in all of our gaps. He does it in such a way that He has us coming back for more, day after day, to quench our thirst as we wait our turn to be called on to heaven.
Where nothing is lacking, all is made right, and we find out all the answers to our whys. It’s coming, most assuredly. You can bet your life on it.
“He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord...For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land—a land with brooks, streams, and deep springs gushing out into the valleys and hills; a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey; a land where bread will not be scarce and you will lack nothing.” Deuteronomy 8:3 & 7-9a emphasis mine