why are you striving these days?
why are you trying to earn grace?
why are you looking for love?
why are you still searching as if I’m not enough?
It’s 3am and the house is mostly quiet. I am being kept company by the ticking of my clock and the sound of almost-silence ringing in my ears. Do you know that sound? It sounds a lot like peace, but not really. Cos peace comes from the inside…
I’ve had too many late nights and too little sleep, but God is good, and He is sustaining me. How blessed we are to have His mercy, that we do not get what we deserve, and His grace, that we get so much more than we deserve… Between the laughter and the words, the questions and struggles and all that’s been going on, I confess that I have not spent nearly enough time seeking Him.
Ah, there’s that word: enough. I don’t like to use it, because it can be misleading. It can communicate the idea that something is needed from me, that God requires something from me, that He will not come close until He gets it. That last part, that’s where it all goes wrong. He is always close. He is always present. The question is, are we?
He has showed you, o man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8
To walk humbly… Recently, I’ve been thinking about the way I present myself to the world. In Psych, we learn that first impressions do matter, in that they form the basis by which future interactions are judged. Generally speaking, people’s first impressions of you are pretty accurate, too. Is it even possible to try and change who you want people to see? And if not, why are we so concerned with image management? Why worry about people getting the wrong impression?
Back to humility, though. I think that trying to control or influence, even the slightest bit, the way that others see us inevitably causes us to become prideful. Anything that we try to do in our own power, anything we try to control quickly becomes fertile ground for Pridus Plantus to grow. We forget about grace, we forget about the fact that we shouldn’t even be alive with the opportunity to try and make others think we’re nice. We forget that the point in life isn’t to make us look good, but to make Him look good. So good. We think that His goodness is reflected in us when we are good, but He tells us that His power is made perfect in our weakness, not our strength. And when His power is in us, boy, do we shine.
Let me not try to hide the parts of me that I don’t want to show the world. The shameful things, the foolish things, the things that scare me and keep me up at night. Let me also not make others feel like they have to hide those things away. Teach us what it means to be a community of people saved by Your grace, and standing on grace alone. A people broken from the inside out, yet covered so abundantly in grace that heals and grace that restores and causes us to become beautiful in our brokenness.
Christianity isn’t about packing the unsightly away in order to make ourselves look presentable; God’s not interested in that. He wants to bring all of that into the light, sweep out all the corners, and turn it into something new, something beautiful. It’s not about cutting out the bad stuff and leaving only the good. It’s about taking the bad stuff and making it good.
You bring restoration