Let’s take a quick minute to celebrate the fact that we made it to SEPTEMBER. Remember back in March when everything went off the rails and September seemed to be eons away? Light years, even. And yet, here we are! We can do hard things!
Hard things take their toll though, don’t they? I don’t know about you, but the past six months have come close to destroying me on some days. I realize that’s extreme language, but man that’s exactly how it felt at times. Maybe you have felt this on some level as well? Between zoom school, home school, no school, back-to-school, job changes, job losses, job searches, illness, loss of family members, loss of structure, loss of any ability whatsoever to even plan one day ahead, we have all collectively experienced some sort of trauma this year.
I realized recently that one way this year has affected me is in how I view God’s heart toward me. As a result of circumstances out of our hands, our family has had judgments levied at us, most painfully from Christian friends and acquaintances. I began to see last week how I have internalized these to the point that I assume God must feel the same way about me. That he is not for me, that he does not have a plan for us, that he really only loves us because he is God and he is required to. That he is simply tolerating us through gritted teeth.
It is difficult to even type that because it goes against all of my religious sensibilities, however it is honest and if we know anything from the Bible, we know that God can handle honest (I mean, check out the Psalms). Though it is honest, it is not true.
Perhaps your view of God and who you are to him has been thrown out of whack this year also. If so, I invite you to pause with me today and remember what is true. Let’s take a glimpse at who God is and as a result, what is true of us.
God is a creator, truth-teller, and he can be found:
“For the Lord is God, and he created the heavens and earth and put everything in place. He made the world to be lived in, not to be a place of empty chaos. ‘I am the Lord,’ he says, ‘and there is no other. I publically proclaim bold promises. I do not whisper obscurities in some dark corner. I would not have told the people of Israel to seek me if I could not be found. I the Lord, speak only what is true and declare only what is right. (Isaiah 45:18-19 NLT)
- He creates with purpose (v 18) and therefore created you on purpose and for a purpose
- He “made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb” (Psalm 139:13) and you are “God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago” (Eph 2:10)
- He intends for there to be order and not chaos (v 18)
- He is the only God (v 18)
- “Remember the things I have done in the past. For I alone am God! I am God and there is none other.” (Isaiah 46:9 NLT)
- He is a promise maker and keeper, so you can trust him to keep his promises to you (v 19)
- He is not hidden and is able to be found. This is true regardless of how you feel at any given moment. (v 19)
- He speaks only truth and only what is right, so you can trust his Word for wisdom and insight. (v 19)
God is Love, he is crazy about us, and we cannot be separated from his perfect love
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! (I John 3:1)
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. (I John 4:16)
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:38)
You, friend, are not who the world says you are, you are not who your family says that you are, you are not the sum of judgements thrown at you by the church. You are only, always, and exactly who God, the lover and creator of your soul, says that you are. If any of the above verses nudged something in your soul, take a few minutes to meditate on them. If none of them did, then take some time to search scripture and remind yourself of what is true. We need the truth of God as much as we need the air that we breath so we can stand firm and love well. May you know who you are in Christ today, sweet friends.
*P.S., and this is totally off topic, but some great worship songs to center your heart and focus your mind on what is true of God and true of you are “Peace Be Still” by Hope Darst, “Into the Sea (It’s Gonna Be Ok)” by Tasha Layton, and “Remember” by Bryan and Katie Torwalt. Also, some wonderful books for these chaotic times are “This Too Shall Last” by K.J. Ramsey and “The Bait of Satan” by John Bevere.