Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Words to Live By

Honestly, being a mom sometimes feels like the most impossible job.

I can't do it.  For a moment or two, maybe?  Every now and then, a day?  But overall?  I just keep failing.  Keep falling short.

I'm not patient, as I should be.  I lose my temper.  I don't get enough done.  I don't keep the house clean, have healthy meals ready every night, stay organized and calm.  And yes, even though I use natural remedies and do my best to keep my kids healthy?  They still get sick.

It's so easy and natural to judge ourselves and others based on how we perform.  Ugh.  We can't see into the hearts of others (the way God can), so we take what we see (at least our perception of what we see) and come to conclusions about others.  And ourselves.

But it's so important for us to know (and for us to communicate to others) that we are LOVED because of WHO we are, not what we do.  I'm learning.  Slowly.  To communicate unconditional love WHILE teaching and training.  I can enjoy my family, laugh with them, LOVE them well.  Even when I don't always like what they might DO.  Please tell me I'm not the only one with extended family who is CRAZY?  Ha!

My point?  Unconditional love is a difficult concept for all of us.  We love what we like.  We are pleased when we get what we want (and feel justified when it's the "right" thing). And it's difficult to love what we don't like or love when we are not pleased with someone and their choices.

A few months ago, the Coach and I were able to hear Andrew Farley speak at a local fundraiser.  He's the author of "The Naked Gospel" and "God Without Religion".

His talk was long and good and real.  But one thing he said just stuck.

He was speaking about God's sovereignty and how who we ARE is who CHRIST is in us.  Understanding our nature IS that of Christ.  Even when we don't behave as we should, it doesn't change who we ARE.

Do you see where I'm headed?  Christ's love for me has nothing to do with what I DO.  It's not based on my performance.  My success in being a "good" wife or mom.  My ability to always obey.

When God sees me?  He's sees His Son's nature.  Perfect.  Complete.  Pleasing.  Loved.

Andrew Farley said, for those who are in Christ, "You can't mess this up."

What?  (as my eyes filled with tears)  I can't?  Even if my kids rebel (One of greatest fears!)?  Even if my husband isn't always happy and content with me (I am SO not good enough for him!)?  Even if my house isn't always warm and welcoming (We are NOT magazine material around here!)?


When we experience heartache in our lives or see tragedy in the lives of those we love?  He is still God.  Still in control.  Still loving us.  Whether the pain in our lives is because of our own actions, the actions of others, OR just allowed by God (And we can't see any reason for it at all!  Enter Job.). And OH to see it all fit together when we reach eternity and the big picture is clear.

What makes us think that our behavior (good or bad) will ever trump God's power in our lives?  Kind of silly when you think about it.

I am pleasing to HIM because I have Christ in me.  The Hope of Glory.  And He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Thank you, Jesus!

The truth is, even though we should never sin just to experience God's grace (see Romans 6), sin IS the field in which grace grows.  For me.  For my kids.  For those I love.  And there is no shortage of sin or opportunity for grace.  At least around here.

Happy Wednesday.


Tim's Wife said...

Oh friend, how I needed to hear this TODAY! God has been working in my heart about this very thing. My expectations of myself versus His view of me...fully covered by His grace. How beautiful that "We can't mess this up."

Cindy P said...

Amen and Thank You! "We CAN'T mess up." Words that I need to be reminded of over and over and over! VERY fitting for me today...again! :)

Keith Jossell said...

Keith J.

It is hard to accept what you said about Christ even though it's true because often times that is not the way we love those we deem undeserving. Once I and we accept that, we can turn that fire hose on everyone we meet and they too can experience that amazing love. It still blows me away that He sees me as you describe.

Rachel Meyer said...

Well Said, my friend!

Anonymous said...

This is so beautiful, Karen! It is so easy for me to think about how much and how often I mess up. The truth of God's lavish grace is beautifully changing my walk with Christ. I am a work in progress. He is so good! *hugs*