You know when you finally pray about the thing that has been bothering you, hurting you, frustrating you for some time now... and you realize that you have neglected to pray and neglected to petition before God because that would mean this thing or these things were actually a problem/s? Yes, this is me this week. My drives home from work have been finally real. It was like the moment I uttered the words I felt this surge of relief because I was finally being honest with myself. Christ knows my heart and my struggle and He has been patient enough to wait for that moment of truth... I was stubborn enough and ignorant enough to think that it wasn't a problem and I was ok. Different perspectives. Different plans.
That's not even why I pulled myself up out of the comfy couch that cuddled me downstairs just now to come upstairs and write. I am in this bible study at Covenant Pres and we are going through a Tim Keller study of I John. The most recent week we dug into Chapter 3:11-24 where it discusses love for one another. Preparing for our discussion, meeting with the group, and soaking in our study I can't help but feel the weight of my inability to love those around me. Yes, it is easy to love some but to love those unlovables in your life... I fail so often.
I know I can't love my enemies, even my friends, on my own. I know that I completely suck at being a light to The Light. And for as much grace as I have been given, I quickly hold back grace from anyone that hurts me. I'm a poor example of the gospel. I think that the things I endure are so individualistic and that is partially why I keep them to myself... I forget that Christ went before me and endured as much as I endure... I am so far from understanding the immensity of His death and resurrection.
I was driving home from work after utter failure, thinking I was entirely justified in being hurt and communicating that hurt. All these thoughts are swirling around and as I am trying to think of the words to How Deep the Father's Love for Us but I was unable to, so I begin to sing Jesus Paid It All. Blessed redemption.
Jordan gave me a hymnal before we were married. For me to "feel my thoughts to God everyday". It's a beautiful gift- and I think so many should own a hymnal. Not growing up in a traditional church, I do not know many hymns, so I cling to this thing.
How deep the Father's love for us,
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure
How great the pain of searing loss,
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the chosen One,
Bring many sons to glory
Behold the Man upon a cross,
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice,
Call out among the scoffers
It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished
I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection
Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom
I am called to love and called to show grace- even when it hurts. I think I just need reminding of that from time to time... right now, I could use reminding a bit more. In our discussion one of the women pointed out that it pleases God when we love our neighbors. Seems elementary, right? Living that out... not so much. I think I've used the excuse that once hurt and once frustrated, "Coach, SUB!" and I'm out. I'm exempt. It doesn't work that way and if we are desiring to live as Christ lived, we would see the torment He endured and maybe see our struggles as shaping us as believers. Maybe that's the answer to my "huh?"