Tuesday I got in a car wreck. Nothing major, just got rear-ended at a red light. Could've been so much worse, and I'm thankful it wasn't, but really, aren't all car wrecks at least a little frustrating? Then yesterday, I managed to lock my keys AND purse inside my trunk, something I've never ever done. I've never locked myself out of anything. I'm usually that annoying person saying, "You have your keys, right? Do you have your keys? Don't shut the door unless you have your keys." But now I've got my Cocker Spaniels beside me, birds singing outside, and life is back to normal. So let the blogging proceed!
Lately God's really laid on my heart this idea of adequacy. I would really encourage you to read through the first few chapters of Hebrews (especially chapters 4 and 5), because I can't put them all here, but there's so much to be said. Chapter 3 discusses the issue of rest, and the means God made to allow His people (us) to enter into that genuine rest, apart from our merits or our own attempts to earn rest. But chapter 4 is what I want to discuss today. It says in verses 14-16:
"Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are,-- yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God's throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need."
So where am I going with all of this?
Well, what's been rattling around in my heart is this very simple concept that is somehow also very difficult to accept.
Christ cares for you. I mean, really cares for you. He cares so much that he was willing to go from a state of wholeness and perfection and make himself vulnerable to sin, to hardship, to disease. He cares enough that Hebrews 5 says he learned obedience to the Father so that he could become that perfect sacrifice for you, so that he could become the very template for our obedience to him.
But the reason that I'm writing this blog is to ask something. Do you really believe that? I mean, really believe all of it? Because sometimes I do, and other times I only believe it in part.
Here are some of the other things I believe:
1) I have excel at things to feel good about the job I've done.
2) I need people to look up to me and admire my hard work to feel validated.
3) No matter how hard I try, I never feel as if it is enough.
4) I have to keep praying over and over again before it gets through to God.
Let's be real here. I don't like the fact that a little corner of my heart believes these things, but it does. Frankly, I think I was born believing these lies--I certainly have had nothing but support over the years from my parents and family, and I haven't really struggled much for the success I've achieved thus far. So unless you count my failed attempts at any type of athletic activity, my guess is, these are just parts of my personality I've internalized.
But let's look at those verses again.
We do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are,-- yet he did not sin.
Jesus empathizes with you. Did you catch that? He empathizes with me. He became like us not only so that he could be the sacrifice for our sin, not only so he could keep us from hell, but also so he could empathize with our daily struggles, our daily lives.
We serve a compassionate God.
Let us then approach God's throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
And we can be confident of our purpose in him.
Why is it so important we get this in our heads? Because what we really believe about God, who we really believe he is and how we really believe he perceives us, is how we live our lives. It's how we treat other people and it's how we do ministry. And it definitely affects how we write. How will we ever effectively share God's love with the hurting if we don't even know it ourselves?
What lies do you struggle with when it comes to God's love? What verses and quotes can we use to help reaffirm the truth of who we are in Christ?
Photos from: http://www.ipernity.com/doc/lea.ipernity/4708771, http://www.xweather.org/lightning