Updated: Jan 25, 2021
Sometimes it’s hard for people who have always lived by the rules to accept failure or shortcomings…in themselves and others. They have denied themselves the freedom to take risks and go against the grain. Therefore, they may feel a certain smugness or even resentment and disdain for those who have made mistakes or who have even managed to succeed living outside the box. It’s totally understandable. Just think of the story of the prodigal son that squandered his inheritance but was welcomed back to his father’s house and restored. His brother was not too happy with that outcome. We can probably all see ourselves with that mindset at one time or the other. But isn’t that what Jesus does for us? He takes us in all our imperfection, and welcomes us into the fold even with the stench of failure still lingering. Sometimes people don’t understand or approve but He does it anyway. Or He uses someone in a mighty way that is courageous enough to challenge the status quo and we judge them for it. The “new thing” that God is trying to do may be unfamiliar, and threatening to our sensibilities so we are tempted to judge.
Isaiah 43:18-19 (NIV)
18 “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. 19 See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.
Following Christ is not for the faint of heart. Just put yourself in the shoes of the disciples without knowing how the story ends. Then put yourself in the shoes of the people who didn’t trust this man who claimed to be the Messiah….they were blinded by what they had always known unable to make room for the new that had arrived. Thank goodness God looks at our heart, because sometimes we make the wrong decisions for the right reasons. That’s why Jesus said “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (see Luke 23:34). Thank you Lord for grace because there are many times when we think we know but we just don’t have a clue what God is up to.
Do you have the courage to be yourself and fulfill Gods plan?
Sometimes our lessons are threefold …forgiving others who have fallen short, forgiving ourselves and forgiving those who judge us….Seems like just a big circle of folks that need forgiveness given and accepted all the way around.
Will you be Gods hands? His feet? His mouthpiece? Can you stand in his counsel and do what he says…speak up at his prompting, hush when He says no words are needed, move when he says move, be still when he says it’s not time, drop your agenda and pick up his? Can you surrender your fears, your dreams, your regret, your unbelief? Can you give him all of you? He doesn’t ask this of everyone and he is not a respecter of persons but if he asks you can you do it? Will you let him use you as he sees fit? All the while trusting and believing “with confidence that He who began a good work in you will continue until Christ comes” (see Philippians 1:6). Will you believe that “He knows the plans he has for you..too prosper you not to harm you…to give you a hope and a future”(see Jeremiah 29:11)….can you believe him?
Sometimes we judge and condemn ourselves and others so harshly we get stuck and can barely move. Fearful of our shadow and intimidated by our light. Hummm, isn’t that sad, ironic and a shame? God doesn’t want us to live this way. He wants us to see what he sees….a heart hungering for him, a heart eager to please….not always sure how but eager none the less..a heart made by him, for him and turned toward him. A jewel…rare and precious in his sight. A vessel waiting to be poured into so He can pour it out again.
It takes courage to follow your heart when your head is trying to protect you. I know that struggle. But don’t be afraid. Follow God’s heart……..
Joshua 1:9 NIV
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Ms. Wanda, GAC