“God WILL achieve infinitely more than your greatest request, your most unbelievable dream, and exceed your wildest imagination! He will outdo them all, for His miraculous power constantly energizes you!” (Ephesians 3:20 The Passion Translation)
When reading a scripture verse like this one many of us have an immediate reaction.
And it’s not necessarily positive.
When we have been living with difficulties for any amount of time, we wind up becoming leery of good things that present themselves.
Because the rug has been pulled out from underneath us so often in the past, we are hesitant to believe that the good thing in front of us will either happen or stick around.
It’ll just be booted to the side after another doozy hits us.
But… what if we’re wrong?
Personally speaking, I was able to ride the festive and busy wave of the holiday season primarily because I learned how to switch my thinking to something positive when negativity wants to reign.
But I am not immune to the emotions that can whip up without a moment’s notice. The emotions that are tied to memories, – both good and awful. For some reason they are harder to catch than the thoughts I work so hard to manage.
I find myself easily transported to familiar aches.
The shadow of that loneliness that haunted me for so long.
The suffocating pressure of shame & guilt that wants to hold me under again when I realize that I still make mistakes.
To strip me of any hope that I may have been able to muster.
As I choke down the cries that bash against my throat and swipe at the tears that keep slipping out and down, I hear a familiar whisper:
I know this Voice.
I have learned to listen to this Voice.
So I shake my head and sing the song that immediately comes to mind because I understand what He’s trying to do.
It is crucial to remember that emotions aren’t to be ignored or stuffed.
But it is equally important to recognize that they are merely indicators of deeper things that should be addressed. They are not to rule our lives or direct our choices.
I know I need to learn something here… the shame and embarrassment that keep taking shots at me are not from the Father who loves me.
I know that I am not seeing myself as He sees me at this particular moment.
But its hard.
As I sing to Him, He reminds me through scripture verses that begin to play through my memory that God does not change.
That His grace covers me ALL the time, not just when I perform properly.
That’s the whole plan.
Jesus did it all.
If earning God’s approval was all up to me, then we’d still be in the Old Testament and there’d be no need for Jesus and what He accomplished for us.
And oodles and gobs of Love that I can barely comprehend.
I don’t deserve it.
For the last few years, the Three have been slowly expanding my ability to accept His lavish nature.
I have been so brainwashed to believe that I must earn everything that comes to me… even though there is practicality in most of that way of thinking:
- We work for a living.
- We treat others as we want to be treated.
You know. Common sense stuff.
But this… this is different.
They have been educating me on how He has always shown up for those He loves in one way or another, even if they don’t understand it.
That He has always stressed that He rescues, saves, redeems, helps, blesses, showers gifts upon His people simply because He is who He is…
NEVER because they deserve it. Only because they belong to Him and its a reflection of His nature.
Makes Him look good.
Gives Him glory.
And He really, really likes to give good gifts.
And I am one of His.
Part of the Family.
A daughter of the King.
A high priest.
Laughed with, and, I’m sure, at.
So, as I process these things my Three have taught me so diligently, I lay my shame at Their feet.
And leave it there.
And ask for help, knowing that’s what They’re waiting for me to do.
And I humble myself to accept the answer that inevitably comes, and fills me to overflowing with gratitude (and a wee bit more embarrassment that I really try hard to squelch).
You see, the goodness that comes my way will always come, even though I had been trained to expect the worst because of the things I have experienced as a young woman.
God is good.
He does not change.
And He promises to bring beauty our of our ashes, joy out of our mourning.
It is not about what I do that determines whether or not God will show up, or bless me, or give me good things…
It is always about Him.
And whether or not I choose to believe Him.
And I do.
I choose Him.
I choose to focus on Him.
To see myself as He sees me.
To be grateful. To be thankful.
To praise Him .
Because He is worthy.
— Lets be clear: its not about what we get, really.
When our focus is on Him, and how good He is, we become in a better position to receive it, rather than unconsciously pushing it away.
The goal isn’t the goodness He pours out onto us, but its a fantastic perk that is ours if we are willing to see it and open ourselves up to humbly accepting it.
Instead of piously rejecting free gifts from the One whom all good things are created, lets learn to position ourselves to receive them.
Because He’s got plans that involve His glory, His Good Name, His reputation, and the dreams He planted in each of us to carry on His good works.
Don’t dismiss the gifts just because you don’t think you deserve it.
Because you don’t.
But Jesus does, and He qualifies us because of what He did for us.
He is so good.