There’s this thing we all have in common as humans…we don’t like to be found wanting. When a need is placed before us, we like to meet it. When an opportunity comes our way, we like to take it. Meeting the challenges of life internally and externally is a deep value most of us hold. Weakness or lacking in some way does not seem like a place to pause and look around. It feels more like a room to hurry through, taking inventory as we go, quickly stocking empty shelves so we can move forward. Usually, we sense that the quicker we can eliminate weakness and fill in the lack, the better off we’ll be.
No wonder hope is hard to find sometimes. It’s buried under all the effort it takes to be our own rescue and provide for ourselves. It just doesn’t make sense that weakness or being without are places where the presence of God dwells most powerfully. It doesn’t make sense that blessing should come through empty places.
It is precisely there, in those places of stark scarcity, human frailty and stubborn heart that God shows Himself as different than we think. We think we need to hurry through our pain to keep from being overwhelmed and get back to full capacity. But God says, “No. I’ll make sure you survive this, and we’ll get the job done together.” We think the damage done in our souls when we were small disqualifies us even as it crippled us. But God says, “I take every wrong and do something with it that brings immense good to you and to the world.” As we stare at Him with skepticism, He says, “It’s true. I’m not who you think I am.”
Is this not hope? That when the mask comes off and the “as is” reality is revealed, the rejection we expect, the disqualification we’re sure will come our way, the-being-left-behind-because-wounds-still fester-and-scar…That God is not who we think He is?
What an invitation! Never have the words, “Come and see, come and taste, come and rest” meant so much. Hope is all bound up in that word, “Come.”
“Come, just as you are,” He says. “You don’t even have to worry about taking off the mask…I’ll help you take it off when you get here. Just come. I have a place for you. I’m longing to be with you. You’re safe with me. I’m not worried about what you don’t have. I’m not worried about what you can’t do. I have everything and I can do everything…I just want you.”
Will you come?
ACTION: What is it like when you sit with some of the lacks or weaknesses that are your “as is”? Do you hurry through them? Gloss over them? What might it be like to let them be “as is” and meet God right in the middle of them?