"i have to be perfect for God."
...no, my dear-heart, you do not.
I could guess, for a lot of us, the reason we feel like connection with God is “for some, but not all” is because we don’t like who we are on any given day. We don't like the feels of anxiety within us, or anger. We don't like the scattered mind, feels of inadequacy, and obviously we don't like daily routines that come more from obligation, then desire.
And if we have been hurt by others, hurt by our very self, even anxious, sad, and confused about life, we often doubt the utter goodness of God.
God can't take away feelings, but He can inspire our minds by changing our thoughts on how we respond to life.
And while many of us have heard a thousand stories of what He is like, I don’t think we know the tender whisper of love He speaks to us. Instead, we just know how heavy our emotions are -- thinking they’re the deciding factor for life’s biggest decisions. Or, we just feel the immensity of our conscience tripping us up with whats moral and what's not. We all want to do right by others, but so often doing right by others comes at our own expense so we shut ourselves down for the sake of “helping” another person.
Every time we have to learn and relearn these lessons we just feel everything.
Let me paint you a picture of what my mind sounds like every day. For those of you who know me, I am excited for you to know I don’t actually have my shee-it together.
“Your scattered brain and lack of organization is repulsive, God’s disgusted with you.”
“Sticking up for yourself in a situation, how dare you! You need to make the other person happy, not yourself!”
“Couldn’t get out by 7:10… that’s embarrassing…”
“That person must think this way about me.. Well, I deserve misfortune.”
“Don’t say too much.”
“Don’t explode.” …. “Just numb yourself.” …. “Ok but either of those options is what I want…”
These thoughts keep me away from God (duh). They keep me distracted with things, food, and scrolling. Chances are, they do the same for you, too. They keep me far from His hug -- which is all He wants to do the whole time we think this way. And because we hide ourselves, He pursues all the more.
The way others treat us is not how God treats us.
The fragile minds and hearts of others is not what God’s heart is like.
The insecurities and hurts of others don’t exist in God’s.
The passivity of others -- nope, not God at all.
The troubled minds of others, not God.
The unwelcoming presence of others, not God.
The disengaged ears when you speak or lament, not God. Ears are always perked.
The thought or feeling that you are being misunderstood… you guessed it, not God.
The little voice telling you “no one cares about you.” …. far. from. God.
Yes, we experience all of this.. and that's OK.
But God doesn't .. and that's worthy of praise.
As I sit and write this, I am waiting for someone to come change the tire on my car (because to top off an emotional day you just HAVE to get a flat tire. What’s an "off" day without a grand finale of getting a flat tire!) I had the most important, most life-changing thought. (And mind you, I’ve had all these thoughts before in my life, they just never get old.)
“God’s love doesn’t depend on circumstances.”
“God’s love is strong and not passive.”
“God’s goodness is infinite.”
“God looks at you with delight, even in the mess.”
“God’s love is passionate, not disengaged.”
“God’s love is secure. A stronghold.”
“God’s love is not dependent on perfect exterior conditions.”
“God’s love for me is not only present when I am feeling warm and fuzzy inside.”
“God’s love for me is there in sticking up for myself, and even when others try to shoot me down -- and yes, more than anything else, when others think poorly about me.”
A blazing hot, make your cheeks red and glossy, day calls for a nice 90 minute chillax session waiting for your tire to be fixed. (No, I don’t know how to change it). Blowing out that tire with a fresh anxious heart and lots of responsibilities on the shoulders felt like a "I deserve this moment" but praise God He convicted me. I felt His love whisper the lie out of my heart. But I don't think He would have accomplished that Grace had He not left me a little stranded (literally) to sit in my series of misfortune events.... utterly grateful.
Be grateful that you don’t have to be one ounce of perfect for God.
Because He freakin’ loves you.