It’s funny the baggage we carry through life while leaving other good things behind. The bad stuff really is easier to believe (thanks, Pretty Woman).
As Christians, we want to believe that God’s grace is enough to cover everything we’ve done and everything that’s been done to us. We strive to lay it down and let Him take it over. Maybe we’ve done that over and over again with some things in our lives. We think we’re doing just fine — even if we’re in a tough season — and we push through it because everyone is telling us that He’s got our back. That God is good all the time. That we will have what we need if we just believe.
But the truth is that if our struggle is long, we may begin to waver in our hearts. We look at others on similar journeys and are discouraged to see that ours has lasted so much longer, or that our mountains rival Kilimanjaro while theirs look like molehills. We might even feel shame (or be shamed) for saying out loud that we’re not sure God actually IS in this with us. Because we feel left behind somehow. Forgotten. Unnoticed.
I’ve been there.
In fact, it was in the midst of being there that I realized something pretty unsettling about myself. Because while I was faltering in my faith, struggling to consider that everything I’d come to accept about God might not be true, I was still on fire for Him when it came to others. Others I cared about were going through difficulties of their own — some so much harder than mine — and I had no problem standing up for them, calling out to God, and believing wholeheartedly that He would not only hear my prayer, but would step in because of it. For them.
But me? I realized I felt exactly the same way with God as I did as a child in a home that was full of turmoil. I felt unheard. Forgotten. Pushed to the side so that more pressing matters could be handled.
That He would willingly come with swords blazing to the needs of everyone I cared about, but He might — just might — look at my situation, shrug His shoulders, and move on to something more important.
That’s a little embarrassing to admit. But true.
Because in my heart of hearts, I’m still that little girl doing everything she can to measure up. To be seen. To do so many great things that everyone will notice. To follow every rule. To be good. So, so good that they will love her for it.
And apparently, deep down, I believe that I won’t measure up for Him either. Even if I follow every rule. Even if I follow none of them and rely on His grace. At the end, I see myself standing before Him and hearing that He didn’t really know me. As in, He didn’t really notice me at all. Even when I clung to the belief that He would.
Do you struggle with the same?
Because we base our lives, our decisions, on our experiences. Do you base your beliefs about God on lessons learned by how others treat you?
The truth is, that’s unfair toward God. Because no experience compares to that of our relationship with Him. He simply doesn’t work that way. He doesn’t react or behave like anyone we’ve ever known. And let’s face it: That blows our mind to the point that we can’t even comprehend it.
He is grace-giving.
For it is by God’s grace that you have been saved through faith. It is not the result of your own efforts, but God’s gift, so that no one can boast about it. –Ephesians 2:8-9
He is loving.
We love because God first loved us. –1 John 4:19
He is faithful.
If we are not faithful, he remains faithful, because he cannot be false to himself. –2 Timothy 2:13
He is protective.
He will cover you with his wings; you will be safe in his care; his faithfulness will protect and defend you. –Psalm 91:4
He is understanding.
“My thoughts,” says the Lord, “are not like yours, and my ways are different from yours. As high as the heavens are above the earth, so high are my ways and thoughts above yours.” –Isaiah 55:8-9
He cherishes you.
“Aren’t five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one sparrow is forgotten by God. Even the hairs of your head have all been counted. So do not be afraid; you are worth much more than many sparrows!” –Luke 12:6-7
He won’t leave you.
“When I go, you will not be left all alone; I will come back to you.” –John 14:18
He will never change.
I am the Lord, and I do not change. And so you, the descendants of Jacob, are not yet completely lost. –Malachi 3:6
And … He doesn’t show favoritism.
For God judges everyone by the same standard. –Romans 2:11
If you believe that God’s promises are true for other people, then that’s enough faith to start with. Remember the mustard seed? You’ve got a little more than that. You just need to start reconciling your heart to the fact that – yes — He means you too.
Because if you were the only one He could save, He would still do it all over again.
Just for you.
He loves you that much.
Ask Him to help you know that you know that you know that His promises are meant for you too, without doubt. And you know what? He will.