Where You See a Mess, God Sees His Son
My home is not Pinterest worthy. My life does not look like a perfectly placed Instagram post. And, since we’re being honest here, my heart is far from neat, pretty, and put-together.
Some days partaking of God’s Word is tasteless.
Some days I’m envious of my friends.
Some days I eat too much.
Some days I don’t eat enough.
Some days I’m mopy and feel sorry for myself.
Some days I don’t want to get out of bed.
Some days I’m angry at God.
Some days I only wanna eat chocolate.
Some days I don’t feel like talking to God.
I’m a mess. And I don't have to guess that you are, too, because we’re all part of humanity. Fallen humanity. We’re always in sin, running to sin, or repenting from sin. For real.
Don’t pretend that’s a shocking revelation. It’s reality. No matter how many cups of tea I pour myself or how much chocolate I consume in a day, I will never feel better about myself, because I can’t escape the reality that I’ll never be good enough.
Do you feel the angst in your heart, too? It’s there, and it’s okay to talk about it. I don’t mean broadcasting sin for the sake of drama; I mean being real about the nitty-gritty of life and seeking help for it.
Don’t Like What You See?
There are lots of things I don’t like about myself: my body shape, my personality, my accomplishments, my talents (or lack thereof). And maybe you feel the same way. But get this—you and I were lovingly and carefully fashioned by a sovereign, creative God who made us as we are for a reason and sees things much differently than we do.
One day, a four-year-old friend drew a picture of me. In it, I’ve got a big head, pink hair, crooked eyes, and a grim expression, but she insists it’s me. Not very flattering. I could argue with her and tell her she doesn’t know what she’s talking about, but how silly is that? (Seriously, have you ever tried arguing with a four-year-old?) Because in her loving eyes, she drew me as a pink princess, so that’s who I am.
And that’s when I realized that is who I really am in Christ. And if you’re a believer, too, that’s who you are!
Yes, even on your most cranky, irritable, coffee-guzzling, PMSing, chocolate-consuming kind of day . . . God loves you.
Even on the days you had twenty-two things on your list and only got through one, and wait, it wasn’t even on the list . . . God loves you.
Even when you hate yourself or your kids (or both) and want to run away from it all . . . God loves you. (Just don’t actually run away. Your kids need you despite their best efforts to convince you they don’t.)
But isn’t God holy, you say? Isn’t He just? I thought He can’t stand the sight of sin? So He certainly can’t stand the sight of me! Goodness, I can’t even stand myself!
You’re right. He is holy. He is just. He can’t stand the sight of sin. But it is precisely because of His holy and just nature that there is hope. It was in God’s plan all along to show us how utterly incapable we are to be near His presence in order to open our eyes to our very great and desperate need.
That’s where His Son steps in. Jesus became flesh so that you could lose yours. He became sin so that you could be free from it. He died in your place so that your place would one day be with His Father. He was beaten, bruised, and torn so that you could be made beautiful and whole.
This is truly unbelieveable! Yet through faith in Christ, this is your new reality. By God’s grace, this is your new identity. Where you see pink hair, God sees His Son. Where you see crooked eyes, God sees His Son. Where you see a grim expression, God sees His Son.
Stop Looking Within
Of course, the battle against the flesh still wages on, and some days (most days), we lose. But the grace of God that met you in your moment of salvation is the same grace that strengthens you in your moment of temptation.
Even in your despair, your guilt, and your fear, never doubt the loving kindness of God. It is Satan, not God, who condemns you and tells you your sins are too great, your anger too strong, or your pride too deep for God’s forgiveness and love.
Nineteenth-century preacher Charles Spurgeon wrote a wonderful word of hope on this subject:
We shall never find any comfort or assurance by looking within. But the Holy Spirit turns our eyes entirely away from self; he tells us that we are nothing, but that “Christ is all in all.”
Remember, therefore it is not your hold of Christ that saves you—it is Christ; it is not your joy in Christ that saves you—it is Christ; it is not even faith in Christ, though that be the instrument—it is Christ’s blood and merits; therefore, look not so much to your hand with which thou are grasping Christ, as to Christ; look not to your hope, but to Jesus, the source of your hope; look not to your faith, but to Jesus, the author and finisher of your faith.
We shall never find happiness by looking at our prayers, our doings, or our feelings; it is what Jesus is, not what we are, that gives rest to the soul.
Pull Out the Wide Lens
One beautiful, sunshiny day in May, I was walking in a green meadow, taking in all the vivid colors around me—the lush grass, the bright sky, the sparkling sun. But when I sat down on the lawn, I found, to my amazement, something I’d never noticed before. The “lush grass” was mostly weeds!
While looking up across the entire hillside, I had seen only a beautiful, green meadow. But when narrowing my focus down to the patch at my feet, forgetting the bigger picture, I only saw worthless, ugly weeds.
What will you focus on? Will you choose to see you as God sees you—chosen, loved, and forgiven, despite your weeds? Or will you remain in your little patch of ground—head down, spirits low, trying to uproot the ever-growing weeds that threaten to choke you?
By Leanna Shepard
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