Do you ever have those moments in your relationship with the Lord where you come to the point of wondering, “What if I’m doing everything wrong?”
What if I’m just not getting it?
When nothing seems to be going right and I’m wrestling with things I shouldn’t be (whatever that means) and Jesus seems unfamiliar even though I feel like I’m giving my all… What am I missing?
When I am trying so hard and I still feel like I’m not growing or making any progress or living a life that matters at all… Is it supposed to be this difficult?
If I really loved Him shouldn’t I have moved past this awkward, getting-to-know-You, not sure if I’m totally bought-in kind of tension?
So then I set myself to work harder, to do better next time. Maybe I need to renew my mind more, or pray for a deeper change in my heart, or be tougher about putting my sin to death. And all of those things are important and beautiful! But why does it feel like I’m starting from scratch each time, trying new strategies to finally find the answers that will fix everything and make it look better from the outside, rather than building deeper history and intimacy with God?
And then there are those times when I doubt literally everything I have ever heard about who God is: Is He actually kind? Does He even want to be close? Have I pieced together the theology I’m comfortable with in order to make God into my own image, worshipping who I want Him to be rather than who He is?
Is my theology too lenient? Have I made His grace cheap by not demanding more from myself? Have I made His love bigger than it really is because I’m just lonely and desperately need His attention?
What if I’m getting all of this completely wrong?
“But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope…” (Lamentations 3:21)
And I remember that He is the God of Luke 15, who leaves the ninety-nine sheep to find the one that matters nothing to the world, but to Him is worth everything. He carries it home on His back because it’s too weak to walk on its own, even though it got itself lost in the first place. He is the Father who doesn’t give His wayward son a chance to prove himself worthy of being forgiven before He completely restores him to the family. A Father who was just happy to have His son back, not a Dad looking for free labor or the opportunity to say, “I told you so.”
He is the God of King David, who redeems David’s sin with Bathsheba by eventually bringing Solomon out of their relationship and keeping His covenant that promised the Messiah would still come from this line, even one tainted by sexual immorality and murder.
He is the God of tax collectors and sinners, who fiercely defended the woman caught in adultery (who, by bending down to write in the sand, took the attention off of her so she wouldn’t experience so much shame) and the one who intimately and indecently washed His feet with her hair, not caring that He was insulting the very people plotting His death.
He is the God who took me, a broken girl, and brought me Home as His daughter just because He wanted to. Who lifts my load as I give Him every one of my burdens, no matter how insignificant, because He cares for me. The One who had the audacity to call me his beloved. The God who reminds me what is Truth when I am drowning in insecurity, and who loves me too much to give me what I really, really want. He who brings me peace in my anxiety and puts me back together when my willful sin has torn me apart because He promised He would never give up on me.
So, maybe it isn’t more elaborate ideas or greater revelation that I need. It’s not a new book, worship song, or conference. It’s not even all the answers to my constant questions.
Maybe it’s just Jesus that I need. Just Jesus and nothing else. More time with Him, more intimacy, more familiarity. The real Jesus. The One who knows me, yet loves me the same. Just Jesus.
And somehow I know that if I just have Him, maybe I’m actually getting something right after all.