Thursday, January 26, 2017

True Beauty

I am currently reading The Broken Way by Ann Voskamp.  There aren't words to describe how challenging this book is.  And not challenging in a bad way, challenging in a life changing way.  To be courageous enough to believe that what she is putting out there really is true.  And everything on these pages is backed in Scripture from Genesis to Revelation.  It's not that there can be any doubt to her thoughts.  The challenge is in believing them enough to have them make an impact.

In Chapter Six, Ann is retelling of a time she was on a plane, sitting next to a Rabbi and the conversation, although mostly one sided, that took place.  The Rabbi asked:

"Why do you people always say it's about having a strong belief in God?  Who sits with the knowing that God's belief in you is even stronger than yours in Him?  You may believe in God, but never forget ~ it's God who believes in you.  Every morning that the sun rises and you get to rise?  That's God saying He believes in you, that He believes in the story He's writing through you.  He believes in you as a gift the world needs."

And then Ann asks herself, and ultimately the reader, if they are living like they fully believe that.  She then goes on to ask if Jesus is gracious to us, why would be cruel to ourselves?  And finally puts forth the premise that the moment God stops believing in us, is the moment He'd have to stop believing that He is enough.

Perhaps it's just me in all of my insecurities, fears, and doubts that is struggling with this kind of truth.  Truth that says even though you aren't perfect, and you don't do everything perfectly, you are perfect in my eyes.    How do you accept that, how do you believe that, and how do you act like that matters?  What does the life that clings to that look like?

I want to believe all of these things are true but I look in the mirror.  I see my shortcomings, short temper, and where I fall short of His glory.  I want to live out of belief that what I see doesn't matter and that His thoughts about me are the accurate ones, but much to my dismay, I hear my own voice more than I hear His.

This year is only 26 days old today.  I don't want to get to day 365 and still be in the same place I am now, struggling with  my own net worth, believing I am not enough and too much at the same time.  There are so many conflicting messages about what we should or shouldn't do.  But the rubric for life doesn't come from a magazine article, a breaking news story, a facebook link, or a research facility on a medical campus.  The only standard of living we have is the Word of God.  And maybe it's time we put more stock in it than anything else.

Father, we live so much inside of our heads.  The things we think influence the things we do and the results we see and a great deal of this is not what You intend or desire for us.  Help us think Your thoughts through a renewed mind and give us the courage to believe that Your love for us is personal, intentional, and unconditional.  In Jesus name, amen.

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