“I’m still your GOD, the God who saved you out of Egypt. I’m the only real God you’ve ever known. I’m the one and only God who delivers. I took care of you during the wilderness hard times, those years when you had nothing. I took care of you, took care of all your needs, gave you everything you needed.
I am struggling.
I hate to say those words, and sometimes it takes cutting my right big toe off to get me to say them. Why? I guess because I can do it on my own, right? Yeah I sure have proved that statement wrong time and time again. (Yes, I rolled my eyes- who do you think Ayanna gets it from?) I can make a peanut butter sandwich on my own, not tackle the world and the desires that go along with it! That is not meant for alone. Diane says confession is good for the soul, Suzan says go eat now, Louise says keep your chin up buttercup, and my Rose says there is no reason to jump off any cliffs. It is good to have ones in your life that allow you to grow, and push you too without judgement. Just love. And the occasional pep talk that goes with it. I am thankful for my tribe, and the ladies that come along side me in the difficult times. There are more if I named them all I would never get around to why I am here today which makes me realize how blessed I really am. The Father above gave me them, and if there is a time I do not ever say thank you for walking with me- thank you.
Right now my dog is squeaking his favorite toy that I have hidden now five times. Somehow his nose always finds it. I guess he has a good “smeller” on his face, as my papaw would say if he were here. I took JD to see Santa. He was not amused, but at least he got a treat. Ok ok, and a toy. I know I keep deterring away from the subject at hand only because to talk about my pup is much more interesting. Well, to some of you.
Yes, I am struggling. You know when they say, “The struggle is real”? I use to think well that would be a dumb thing to say, but it is true. So much true. The struggle is real because I have an enemy who seeks to trip me up in any way he can. I do not wrestle against flesh and blood, as Paul says in Ephesians 6. I wrestle against the unseen. I, for once, know what I am going to write about and that seems to carry some weight along with it. No one likes to admit they messed up which is exactly what I am about to do. And really I want to act like it is not a big deal it is not like I drank or used ya know?
I justify it.
When I mess up with my eating whether that be I did not keep it down or I just did not eat that day, I want to say to myself, “Well atleast I did not use or drink”. Sin, though, is still sin no matter what form it comes in. I know, I know, we do not like to talk about it. This is not my favorite topic I can tell you that, but one I feel the need to write about today. I think mostly because I do not want to get away with it anymore. When I make it less than what it seems, or I minimize the problem it gets worse. It does. I may not see that at the time, but eventually it will come out in different ways. So, today while I write about this- you do not have to go any further with me. I know, I would run away too. The Lord, however, is not letting me this time. Saying that, I will proceed to say this…
Sin is ugly. It is not something to minimize, and it may look like the best thing in the world until you find yourself full of shame. Been there? There is a story I just read about in Luke chapter 7. You know, about that lady with the perfume? The expensive kind, and her hair, and her tears? She became the center of my world for a little while last night as I reflected on this. The very first scripture I posted at the beginning of this blog post found in Hosea got to me as well where it says, “I AM the one and only God…” Maybe I do not like to talk about sin, because it is much more than I just messed up. It is more like I once again went for a god, little g, instead of the only One who delivers. Because if I am really completely honest I looked away and went for the idol that sometimes I put before God looking for satisfaction when the only thing that satisfies is the living water. That is what Jesus says to the lady at the well. I know I just switched stories, but watch this. (I say watch because you can’t hear my voice on the interwebs) Jesus says to her that anyone who drinks water from the well will soon become thirsty again, but anyone who drinks the water HE GIVES will never be thirsty again. Because it satisfies.
Sin is not some thing to say no big deal about. Treat it as it is a direct offense to the Lord, to wander from the path of uprightness and honor, and to do wrong. I figure that lady with the perfume knew this, because she knelt down before Jesus with tears flowing. As she anointed his feet with the expensive perfume, and wiped her tears with her hair she showed that love is greater. The faith she had to come and kneel before a man – the one that says come to me all who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest. The one they called Jesus. The Messiah. I wonder how she felt when Jesus said to that Simon man that her sins- and they are many- were forgiven. She was fully known, and fully loved by the One and Only right then and there.
Grace, my friends.
Grace is love that pays a price, and Jesus knew the price He was going to pay for her. And what a beautiful picture of repentance that was. I have a different way of seeing things today as I sit here reflecting on a choice some random lady made. To face her fear, to lay it all out there, and not knowing what would come next. Was her head a little higher as she walked away knowing she was forgiven? Did she tell the world why the light in her eyes was back? I do not know really. I hope so, though. I want to think that as she told her children one day about the ONE who saved her from a life of really bad choices that she smiled during the conversation. I hope that as she heard of His death and resurrection she shared her faith with the ones lost and confused. You know, I say random lady but really she wasn’t random. She was meant to be where she was at that time. Her story was written for a reason. For a purpose.
I want to be more like her, and knowing the weight of sin instead of throwing it off like it is not a big deal. It is. BUT God, in His grace, sent His son to save me (to save you) from it. You know, from the life of bad choices, and wrong roads? I do not want to forget anymore my Egypt or become so proud that I forget the Lord. I can not do it alone, and my pride should never win. That is why today right now I say to whoever is reading this yes ma’am/sir the struggle is definitely real, but grace, mercy, and love are much bigger. It is ok, yes it is, to tell someone that the struggle is happening. Go find your tribe. If you ain’t got one – tell me. I’ll be a member of your tribe because if it is one thing I know it is this…
We can not walk alone, and we do not have to!