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Posts Tagged ‘authenticity’

Lately, I have been experiencing more and more people who are exhausted from maintaining their own lives. Our culture has been stuck in this mentality that we need to have our lives in order; we need to be presentable people.

This culture’s mentality permeates every area of our lives. We have heard people say phrases like, “I will go to church when I get my life in order,” or “I am too much of a mess for friendships.” Maybe not those phrases specifically, but something similar.

We are broken people who all have scars and wounds. We all have fears and insecurities. The truth is that there is not enough glue in the world for us to keep it all together. It’s exhausting to try. I know I fail so much when I try to hold all of my pieces in place.

There is a man in the gospel of Matthew who has redefined what approaching God looks like for me. Matthew retells the story of a time when a man with Leprosy approached Jesus. He kneeled down before Jesus and asked him for healing.

I was taken aback by the counter-cultural act of authenticity by this community reject. This leper was a man ostracized from his community and family. He was tossed out of his city and home to live among other people like himself. Lepers were considered unclean. This man was quarantined as an outsider sent to wait on death.

This leper saw hope in Jesus. He left behind what he had been labeled as and approached the cleanest of men. He saw a clean man who could make him clean, and the unapproachable approached Jesus. By cultural standards, this man was labeled as too far gone to be helped.

This man has shown me the truth of what presentable really looks like.

You see Jesus came to save the people who knew they needed it. He did not come to save the ones who “had it all together.” My heart looks like this man. The truth is all of our hearts look like a version of the leper. That is the perfect time to approach God.

We are messy people. I am finally getting better at putting down the glue that is not working. No one is presentable enough. That is the point. The church is for the mutually messy hearted people. The church is formed because of people who mutually bring their messiness before the one who saves.

This leper brings even more resounding truth to the verse, “at just the right time when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. But god demonstrates his love for us in this; while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Christ did not wait until we were a people who had the right glue. He did not wait until we were presentable enough. Christ came in the midst of our powerless moments; he came in the midst of our sin. He touches our hearts and says, “I am willing.”

Christ came for the broken and wounded while they were still in that place. He came for the hopeless in the midst of their hopelessness, not after. Christ came for the “in the midst.

I am kneeling my messy heart before him and claiming that as presentable enough.

Do you try and hold it all together? Why?

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Joseph is one of those character’s in the bible who I wish I could have coffee with. I have so many questions for how he got through so many hard seasons- and with unwavering faith.

My current season of life and Joseph’s story are finding more and more collisions. So many times during the day I wonder how Joseph handled his situations. I wonder if he had break downs, question matches with God, or even just days where the deep sadness was felt through silence.

I look at Joseph’s story and think how did he stay strong? I wish I could know what was between the lines of his heart. I look at a man who had an incredible dream, one that lit his heart on fire with amazement and awe.

Joesph had a God given dream and found himself enslaved, wrongly accused, and imprisoned. Each step seemed to knock him further and further from what he thought God had showed him.

I wonder in every step did Joseph say, “Okay, maybe it’s this circumstance.” I wonder if he thought that working for Potifer was the step before his dream only to then find himself in prison.

How does a dream come to fruition from prison?

In a way, my season has collided with what seems to be my knock down into a place of “prison.” In my daily rounds with God, I ask, “what does this have to do with the dream you showed me!?

Life seems to have knocked me in a way that only seems to have created distance between me and the dream. The dream seems less and less in focus and in reach.

I mean did Joseph look around at his dirt floor and barred walls and get pissed!? Did he yell at God? Did he look at his daily monotonous job duties and scream!? Did he feel humiliated?

What does prison have to do with a dream!?

The bittersweet part about knowing the end of Joseph’s story is that prison had everything to do with his dream. Prison was the closest, not furthest, step away from his dream. For when the season of prison was over for Joseph, he stepped directly into the dream God had showed him.

Joseph remained honestly faithful. I say honestly, because it is very much okay to express our honest feelings of hardship while remaining faithful in where He has us.

Trying to see the gift of prison. 

What is a time in your life where your circumstance turned out to be just the right thing?

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