I don’t know about you, but I have a tendency to
sometimes always want to do things my way. As humans, we have a very hard time grasping the infinite and all-knowing ways of God… or I should say as sinners, because that about sums it up too. But we can get so out of whack with worry and deliberate with the despair we may feel. So we try to pump ourselves up… we maybe read a self-help book, go out and have fun with friends, or maybe even some negative or addictive behaviors like overeat/undereat, compulsive shopping or gambling, or even substance abuse. All in an attempt to rid ourselves of that nagging guilt, that sense of shame, or those feelings of emptiness.
Many psychologists and self-help books will want you to believe you just don’t love yourself enough, that shame is a bad thing, that guilt is hazardous to your health, and if you feel empty you need to search deep and discover just how amazing you are at your core and find your true self. That you don’t have enough “you” time. You put the needs of others before your own, and you should stop that immediately and focus on you, because how else can you really be of benefit to anyone else? While I can understand a little bit of that thinking, and I am in no way suggesting that we self-loathe (although sin-loathe wouldn’t be a bad thing!), what I think the problem is is that we don’t love God enough. We don’t have enough “Him” time. We *maybe* will give Him an hour or two of our time on Sunday (if nothing else is more pressing). God is not a time clock… it’s not like He’s up in Heaven keeping tabs on if so and so went to church, looked the part, or put money in the plate that week. Think of God as though He were your very best friend, one who knows you better, way better, than you even know yourself… He knows all the horrible rotten things about you (that yes, at your core, you are) that you don’t want anyone to know about (not even your closest friends), but crazily, He still loves you. He knows you could care less about His glory or sharing Him with your friends. He still loves you. And while you can go to church at Easter and Christmas and be a relatively good person, that is not what being a Christian is about. In fact, you could go to church every single week and tithe more than anyone, and you still might have missed the mark. This is what he said in Hosea 6:6 (New Living Translation) “I want you to show love, not offer sacrifices. I want you to know me more than I want burnt offerings.” (italics added) He is more concerned with our hearts than with our pocketbooks, and He wants us to know Him not just go through the motions to appear a certain way.
I got a bit off topic, but what I started and meant for this post to focus on is that it is so so easy to get wrapped up in the cares we all have, the uncertainty of life. This could be different for everyone….a sick child, aging parents, a laid off spouse, no spouse at all, work tension, family troubles. Just the stuff of our lives, those messy, every-day struggles we all have. But if you know God, really know Him, and are known by Him, lay your concerns in His hands – they bore the nails that redeemed your soul – surely they are strong enough to carry your burdens.