You are good
You are good
And Your love
Casting Crowns~Jesus, Friend of Sinners
Sometimes I get frustrated. Really, really frustrated. Because I know how much time and energy I’ve put into the work I do and invariably, someone on the outside of it all will come at me with a criticism that implies that I’ve not done what I was supposed to do to make things perfect. This is always hard for me to take. No matter how much I try to allow myself the grace to make mistakes, the idea that someone else could see me as less than perfect often hits me like an unexpected throat punch. It leaves me gasping for air and hurting all over. Obviously, this is the thorn that God has placed in my side.
The lesson has been ever-present in my life and after forty-two years of experiencing the pain and humiliation of not being able to be perfect, I’ve come to the conclusion that maybe my idea of perfect isn’t the same as God’s idea of perfect. Maybe God isn’t sitting up there thinking, “Man, what a loser!” Maybe, He’s trying to get me to see that the goal of this life isn’t to be perfect, but to seek out His perfection and rest in the knowledge that only He is able to accomplish perfection. He allows us glimpses of it in our own lives, but there will never be one human being who can possess all that is necessary to be perfect. The only one who was ever able to possess that type of perfection gave His life for us so that we could live and pursue love and happiness here until it is time to rejoin our Maker.
I believe that God exists in each one of us. I believe that when Jesus left us to join the Father at His right hand, He sent His Holy Spirit to dwell inside of each and every person to insure that there was justification for loving one another. If we are to love God, and He exists in each of us in some way or another, then we must seek find ways to love one another. This is the true challenge of our existence; to love the part of God that exists in each person on this earth. Before you freak out, understand what I’m saying. To say that God is limited to being one type of person is just plain dumb. Our God is awesome! He can do ALL things. There is no trait that He cannot possess other than those that would harm us. Chastise, maybe. But He does not intend to hurt us.
In each one of us, there is a battle underway. Will we let God rise up in us and claim the victory that He has already ultimately won? Or will we deny that He exists in us to that capacity and continue fighting that battle on our own? Those of us who know Him and know that it says in His word, “I can do all things through Christ,” should be able to see that there is no sin that can’t be overcome when we fully engage the God that dwells inside us. Picture living in a very dark house where there are many different switches that would turn on a light. Do we choose to sit in the dark and struggle to get from room to room to accomplish what we must accomplish each day? Or do we find the switch, flip it and begin to see the truth of what is inside us and work from that point? Many people can’t find the switch. Some people are so broken that they just prefer the darkness. Some people don’t know that anything but darkness is possible. And they won’t figure it out if those of us who have found the light are afraid to share it or use it to try and condemn them with what it reveals.
God has been impressing this point upon me for some time now; years actually. He has been showing me little things that have started to suddenly add up to this truth; He has been in there all along. There are some rooms in my darkened house where I leave the lights on all the time. There are some that have been switched on, but to which I’ve installed a dimmer. My own ingenious approach to trying to control what I allow God to do in my life. Obviously, it doesn’t work. No matter how well I think I can manage, I always end up tripping over something in those rooms. And then, there are those places where I still choose to hide in that darkness. Thankfully, the amount of space in my house that remains dark is getting smaller each day.
Analogies and alliteration aside…God is and has always been our source for ALL things. We have attempted to set Him aside and ignore His presence. We have attempted to blame Him for anything and everything that goes wrong in our lives. We have attempted to shame Him for not acting in a manner that we, in our ultimate authority, find acceptable. We have forgotten who He is and why we have no right to do these things. He may have given us the ability to create some tools, but He remains the Master craftsman and architect of all things. I believe that those who have been steadfastly setting God to the side; whether by tiptoeing around Him or by obnoxiously sidestepping His commands, will one day find themselves at a crossroads where they will no longer have the option of ignoring Him or trying to trick Him into believing that they, themselves are the real deal. God sees through all of our crap. He knows what we truly look like underneath all of the layers of this world that we put on so that we can interact with one another. He sees what matters. He sees the flaws in each of us and He knows exactly what will fix those areas of brokenness. He has installed the exact mechanisms in each of us that will allow us to emerge from our self-imposed cocoons as glorious and exciting new versions of the selves that we have attempted to create over top of His creation. Too deep? Well, think of it this way, God has given us all we need to be what He designed us to be. And we should want that. Because His design is far greater than anything we could ever come up with on our own.
This epiphany, as energizing as it may be to me this morning, doesn’t ensure that I’ll go forward and allow God to do exactly what needs to be done to make me who He wants me to be. I’m getting closer, but I’m still, for all intents and purposes, this dumb, old, imperfect human being with a mind of my own. I know that I can do some really great things if I let Him work through me. And with all my heart, that’s what I want to do. But I’m fumbling around in my darkness most days, just trying to keep my eyes toward the light. I’ve got flashlights, candles, and every once in a while, I can even open the blinds and let the sun shine in. It sometimes feels like I’m doing it all by myself. But, do I actually have the power to light up the rooms in my house and keep them on whenever I need them? Not really…but I do have the power to find and flip the switch. His light will do the rest.
And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.
~Genesis 1:3 NIV~