I’ve encountered so many things this season. I’m not sure if words can even adequately express all I’ve gone through. It’s been a beautiful season, but I never realized that the most beautiful moments come out of pain, that when you’re starving and dying of thirst in a desert, and you seek God desperately, you find that even in those most painful moments, His love wraps around you and reminds you that in his arms you have all you need.
It doesn’t mean it gets easier. Or the pain goes away, or the people stop laughing at you or your plans all fall into place. Sometimes things get worse. The nights get longer and the fears deepen and your heart keeps shattering and you wonder if it will ever be whole again.
But it’s here that I’m learning Jesus doesn’t show up in our lives when they are perfect. It’s like that scene where Jesus and the Pharisees have a standoff and the Pharisees are freaking out that Jesus is associating with sinners.
Mark 2:17 (NKJV)
17 When Jesus heard it, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”[a]
He meets us in our mess. He sees all of the broken and shattered parts of our lives and has come to make us new. Make us like Him.
When you’ve known a friend for a long time, you assume you know everything about them. You figure that you’ve spent enough time with them in the past. Your busyness crowds out the time you used to spend with them.
I’ve found that I’ve treated God this way in my life.
But Jesus is never too busy for us and He holds the whole world together. I’ve made excuses and been too busy for him more times that I want to admit. But He is always there, waiting for me to return to Him after I’ve sinned – His arms open, drawing me to Him in my suffering, when the pain is too much.
I’ve been so caught up in my career and in making sure people like me that I’ve forgotten that Jesus requires all of me and that the only true faith is a radical kind. It’s faith that hurts when others hurt and prays when there’s no time and it’s faith that forgives even when we’ve been hurt deeply and its faith that expresses itself through love and patience and humility. It’s a continual reliance on the God who loved us so much and died for us to reflect His glory.
Today, I’m so thankful that His mercy manifests itself toward me even after all I’ve done to nail Him to the cross. I once was His enemy, but now I’m his daughter. He made me something new when I came to him years ago. Now He is still working on me, still renewing me. He has never given up on me. And He calls me to a deeper relationship with Him. It’s dangerous and painful and will cost everything, but I can’t help but be excited about this season, to see what my God will do.