Like anyone, I have my ups and downs. There are (a few) things I’m good at, and a lot of things I’m not-so-good at. Since I’m usually harder on myself than I am on anyone else, I’ve realized that I often focus on the many areas I feel I need improvement rather than on the areas where I’ve actually done well.
For a while now, Jesus has been trying to convince me to be a bit kinder to myself. As a result, I’ve been trying to identify and think about things that are good about me. When I consider the things I like best about me, the very, very, very best thing is the richness and ease of my relationship with the Lord.
There was a Christian country song (yes there is such a thing) some years back that had a line in it that profoundly resonated in my heart. I don’t remember the song itself, or even who sang, it but I do remember this one line:
“You’re the one thing I do right.”
The “one thing” the singer was referring to was his relationship with the Lord. It stuck because I’ve always felt the same way. I’ve often joked that I don’t “do life” particularly well, but through the years, somehow, I have managed to stay the course–to keep moving onward and upward spiritually. Somehow I’ve managed to fall more in love with Him year after year. Somehow I’ve come to believe more, not less, through the years–despite some huge discouragements, disappointments, and losses. Somehow His grace has always been sufficient for me.
Somehow, no matter how often I fail–His love never fails.
His love never fails me. I know this in a way that goes so far beyond words that it makes them seem pretty much useless at times. And because I do know this, somehow, I’ve always been able to press deeper into Him no matter the circumstances or seasons of life.
It sounds weird to put it this way, but I guess you could say this is one of the main things I’m “good at” in life. I struggle with many things, but my relationship with the Lord has never been one of them.
We’re all wired differently and I realize that just because this is true for me, it’s not true for everyone. That’s why I feel like He’s been challenging me to share some of the things I can put into words. Some of the things that have made a difference. Some of the things I’ve gotten right along the way. Some of the things I’ve learned on the journey …
1.I’ve learned that intimacy with God is never, ever, based on performance. Never. Ever.
2. (Because of #1) I’ve learned to run to Him in my brokenness, failures, frustrations and disappointments, rather than away from Him in shame, regret, confusion or anger.
3. I’ve learned that my feelings are valid and very important to Him, but my feelings sometimes lie.
4. I’ve learned to let go (again and again and again).
5. I’ve learned to embrace mystery–I will never come close to understanding it all and I’m okay with that.
6. I’ve learned to be content in all things, but not to be content with all things.
7. I’ve learned that in this world we will have tribulation, but in the end … Love wins.
There are others, of course, but these are the things that come to mind as being the things that have made the biggest difference in my personal journey of faith. You could probably write a book on each of these concepts. I was going to at least fill in a bit of detail under each one, but I didn’t get very far before I realized this post could get really long, really quickly.
Instead, I think I’ve stumbled upon a bit of a series. Over the next several weeks, I’ll plan to write a short post elaborating–just a bit–on each of these seven principles. They’re all interrelated, but I’ll do my best to make some sense out of each one as a stand alone.
In the meantime I plan to keep pressing into His heart …incredibly grateful for what I have managed to learn along the way.
Because, thankfully, He’s still the one thing I do right.