There was this realization I had to come to at several times in my life, and that I know I will have to come to several more times in the future. I came back to this realization this past week, weak and broken. It’s one of the most humbling places to come back to. When the realization begins to sweep over me like a tidal wave, I try to avoid it and ignore it and reject it until I can do nothing more than stop, turn, and face it; face that morbid monster that forever follows me.
The realization is that i am a mess.
I don’t have it together. I am not perfect. I am a sinner. I’ve got dirt in my shoes. And I am a mess.
My closet is full of junk, and my hands cling tightly to things that will kill me. My heart is deceitful, my thoughts are incapable of being fully pure, and my flesh gets fed more than my spirit far too often.
I am a mess.
I desire what i know will kill me, and rebellion lurks in the shadows of my heart. I rely on people to tell me I am worthy most of the time, and too often I rely on myself to try to make myself worthy. I like to take much more than I like to give, and I think about myself about 90% more than I do anyone else.
I am a mess.
I insist on being understood more than I try to understand, and I hold my head high with pride thinking I am better than others. I like my way more than I like God’s way most of the time, and I don’t trust Him in all things. I like being in control more than I like submitting.
I am a mess.
But the worst realization i come to every time is that I find I don’t fully believe that I am free. I would rather punish myself and keep myself in places of bondage rather than allow myself to accept the free and glorious gift of freedom and abundant life that Jesus went to all measures to give me. I disregard this incredible thing being offered to me, and instead pridefully insist on attempting to take care of it myself and condemn myself because I think that is what is best.
I am literally a mess.
Something else happens in these humbling moments of self realization. God tells me something in the midst of all the ugliness that I face. He tells me that regardless of my mess, regardless of my struggles, regardless of my inconsistencies and rebellious and sinful nature, He is consistent. Regardless of my inconsistency, He is consistent. He reminds me that He has made a covenant with me, not a contract. He has said for better of for worse, not do better or else. He has said that He doesn’t relate to me in my sinful nature, but rather in the nature of Christ. He relates to me in my willingness to trust Him and depend on Him, regardless of my circumstances. He has told me that I don’t have to be enough; that I will always have something that needs fixing and mending, but that that’s okay.
It is OKAY. It is okay for me to be a mess. My circumstances don’t depict what His heart for me looks like or how He will choose to treat me for the day. I am fully and wholly loved. Always. In all things. For better or worse. I am fully and wholly and extravagantly loved. When I finally turn to Him with my mess and ask Him what I need to do to get better, He simply tells me, “Be still and know that I am God. Be still. And KNOW. Know in your spirit and in the depths of your heart that I AM. I AM the Creator of the air you need to survive and the heart that keeps you alive. I AM the Commander of the Skies that directs the winds and the rains and the clouds. I AM the conductor of the symphonies of crickets and birds. I AM the intricate hand that knit each piece of hair into your scalp and carved each crease in your hands. I AM. Know who I am in the stillness of your heart.”
I don’t need to fix anything. I don’t have to work at and strive for anything. I don’t have to relocate or transition into another place before I can be accepted by God. He says that in your pile of rubble is where He will meet you. In the eye of the storm of your life is where He will meet you. He doesn’t stand above us and wait for us to get up to His level before He will walk with us. He came down to the lowest darkest places of our lives, even when we rejected Him and didn’t want Him to, and He stands behind us and pushes us forward and upward. He is before us and behind us, encouraging us and helping us and pushing us towards the person that He created us to be. He is in it with us. He isn’t waiting on us to fix it all. He is already here, right now, in the darkest corners of your life, desiring to get the opportunity to tell you how amazing and extravagant you are in His eyes. He just wants to love you. He just wants to accept you and make you feel whole. Because you are worth wholeness. You are worth being told that you are great. Because you are. And you aren’t great because of anything you are doing or anything you have done, you are great because Jesus has made you great. He has seen you and called you up into greatness by dying for you and tangibly showing you with the greatest sacrifice that you are great enough and worthy enough to die for.
That is who you are. That is who I am. That is who we are. We are sinners who have been called into greatness by the greatest lover on the planet. So you are a mess. Be a mess. Accept that you are a mess. Because it is only by doing this that you will see how great God’s love is for you.
You are fully, wholly and extravagantly loved. Receive it.