Encouragement

Come As You Are

I saw a cartoon on Pinterest once about two people texting back and forth. One of them is in tears, but puts on a happy face and doesn’t let on that anything is wrong. They laugh back and forth, even though one person is clearly going through something. Have you ever done that? I know I have.

Our society teaches us that we have to be in control, preferably with a smile on our face. Someone else somewhere has bigger problems, so you should be grateful for your comparatively small ones. When people ask how you’re doing, they expect the answer to be “I’m fine,” regardless of what the honest answer is. It’s simpler and cleaner that way. Most people don’t like to get messy. It’s hard. So much easier to encourage others to be thankful for what they have and tell them to look on the bright side. They mean well, but that can leave us feeling like no one else understands.

But God won’t do that to us. He wants us to come to Him, just as we are. And He will meet us, right where we are. He loves us too much to leave us there, so He wants us to grow and mature spiritually. But you never have to put on a brave face with God. He knows you’re scared. He knows you’re overwhelmed and sad. He even knows when you’re angry with Him. And it’s ok. He can handle it – your tears, your questions, your doubts, all of it.

Some people imagine God as mean and scary, just waiting for them to mess up so He can punish them. But as believers, we know He has adopted us into His family. He’s our Father, and He loves us desperately. Romans 8:15 says, “So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “’Abba, Father.’” The word “Abba” is a term of endearment – it means “Daddy.” Your Daddy wants to love you through all of your worries and hurts. You’re not alone.

“The only person who dares wake up a king at 3:00 AM for a glass of water is a child. We have that kind of access.”

Timothy Keller

If you don’t know Jesus yet, this invitation is open to you too. One of my favorite pastors, Daniel Fusco, said once, “When’s the last time you said, ‘Jesus if you’re alive, will you reveal yourself to me?’ I dare you to pray that prayer.” He already knows you don’t believe. He knows everything about you. And He loves you so much that He would have come to give Himself for just you, if that’s what was needed. He desperately wants to have that relationship with you. If you ask God to show you if He’s real, I believe He will. In a very personal way. It might take time, but keep your heart open and just watch what happens.

Jesus lived a human life. He understands how hard it is, and He wept too. We don’t have to pretend. Lean on His strength. Study the Word. If we have God’s promises tucked into our hearts, it’s easier to remember them when things seem hopeless. And never be ashamed to be honest with God. He can help. “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” (Matt 11:28)

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