Will I ever get “it” all together?
I’m not talking about the house, the laundry or anything on the ‘to do’ list – though that would be nice. I’m talking about the inner me, the thoughts that fill my mind, the emotions that flood my heart, and the control these two factors have on how I act. Will I ever get “that” all together?
While I refuse to concede, the first truth to note is that “I” never will. None of us will. God didn’t create us to be “I” centered or “I” controlled. In fact, when we focus on curtailing our sin we often sin more. The apostle Paul experienced it this way: “I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart…(but I become) a slave to the sin that is still within me” (Romans 7:21-22). His solution: “Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 7:24-25).
As we seek Him, our great God — the One who has redeemed us and sees us in Christ as righteous and holy — will also align our behavior with who He has made us to be. A few days ago, writing in my journal, pouring out the mess, God led me to Hebrews 4:15-16:
“For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to understand and sympathize and have a shared feeling with our weaknesses and infirmities and liability to the assaults of temptation, but One who has been tempted in every respect as we are, yet without sinning.”
That’s an amazing truth! Jesus understands! Jesus sympathizes! No matter how petty, no matter how vile! In His personal knowledge, deep compassion and limitless power, He knows exactly what we need. He makes an amazing offer:
“Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God’s unmerited favor to us sinners), that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it].”
As His children, we are welcomed into the holiest of all places. We are invited to pour out our hearts, present each need. In response, He will give us exactly what we need – His perfect provision, at His perfect time!
So what do we do when we feel like a mess? We go to God’s throne of grace. We pour out our heart, be who we really are. Then, we can expect to receive grace – abundant, always available, filled with power grace. And if the answer requires us to wait, let me suggest one more thing: Let’s praise Him — for all He is doing and for all He will do!