Unearthing the Truth

It began last night with a question. This unraveling of me.

What is it that has kept me from being who I am supposed to be?

It’s strange how Holy Spirit breaks into the places I think I have patched up so neatly with the Do Not Disturb sign clearly posted. But there I was in the middle of dinner and He asked me that very question.

What is it that has kept you from being who you were meant to be?

He knew the answer. It was me who needed to probe a little deeper.

But instead I turned to the one I love and asked him that question. Surely we all have things that have held us back. Perhaps hearing his answer would guide me to my own. But instead of giving me his own definitive answer he turned the question back to me.

And in the middle of a crowded restaurant over a perfectly lovely dinner, my eyes began to well with tears. I knew the answer. It was hidden in the same pathetic phrase I had uttered to myself time and time again. It was fuel to the raging fire that consumed those around me in my pursuit of perfection. It was the fear that held me back from anything that seemed too wonderful.

Am I worth it?

Seeing those words makes me cringe.

They beg a deeper question as they call my faith to the spotlight.

Do I believe that this Jesus, the One who anchors my hopeful heart, thinks I am enough? Despite my faithlessness, does He still think I am worth it?

And beyond that, does He adore me?

Too often I try to display the Father in the faulty, family frame I inherited. My perspective of His love for me gets muddied by the emotional gaps reflected in my shallow stream of understanding.

I know my earthly father loved me. The deepest parts of my heart tell me so. But the words of affirmation and adoration that I longed to hear were never spoken aloud.

And my interpretation of that silence formed an inaccurate picture of who I am. It has followed me into womanhood and surfaces every time I am on the brink of becoming more of who I was meant to be.

I’ve spent a lot of time digging in that garden of lies scratching the dirt and pulling at roots, desperate to unearth the weeds that grow there. I remember that each time I am able to grab a root in my hand and raise it to the light, it withers allowing space for good seeds to grow.

So here I am again. On my knees in the dirt grabbing at the root of this lie. The one that tells me I am not enough. I am not adored. I dig into the Psalms to unearth the promises of redemption and restoration He has for me. The ones that proclaim a father’s compassionate love so great that it is as high as the heavens are above the earth.

That truth begins to reverberate anew in my soul. “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” 

God is not stingy with His love. He lavishes it on me, pours it over me in extravagance. He spared no expense in the pursuit of my heart. Not even His very own Son.

That’s how much I am adored. The truth I have known my whole life suddenly seems a fresh truth. A new depth. He died for me.

He adores me. I am worth it.

Thank-you, LORD.

On and on and on it goes

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While dusting the coffee table in our living room I noticed a rather substantial nick in the wood top. Having survived a boisterous family of five, the table is not new, but the dent was. Since my husband is the person who spends the most time in that room I asked him if he knew how it had happened.

Phil had a ready theory that involved our three-year old grandson and the substantial amount of Hot Wheels cars that live at our house.  He recalled that the last time they used the table top as a race track things might have gotten a little bit wild.  Smart strategy. He knows that my love for Isaiah far outweighs any offense he might commit. I just could never be mad at him.

It’s the same way with God’s love for us. So many people waste their time thinking that God is mad at them. It simply isn’t true. The facts are that even when we were still in our sin, Jesus gave up his life for us. He didn’t wait until we made things right because he knew we couldn’t do it on our own. It was out of His great love for us that He sacrificed so we would not have to be separated from the Father.

God isn’t mad at us. He’s angry at the sin in our lives that separates us from Him. Psalm 103:13-14 says that “As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.

Just as I know that a three-year old has limitations to his understanding of the world, God knows my own human limitations and has compassion on me in my failures. My sin may separate me from His blessing, but His love for me never ceases . Verse 17 tells me “But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him.

I am the one who turns away. I am the one who exercises my own free will to step away from the light into the darkness. Even so, God’s love for me goes on and on and on.

From everlasting to everlasting.

Forever.

The apostle Paul describes it well when he writes in Romans 8:39 that “neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” What a wonderful thing it is to know that no matter how many nicks and dents I manage to accumulate on the race track of life God’s love for me never ends.