So at church today, there was a time to give testimony’s…basically an opportunity to share what God has been teaching you through the sermon series we had just finished. All week I prayed about it and promised God that although I hadn’t heard or read all the sermons, if He had something for me to share then despite my fear I would get in front of the group and do so. Except…when push came to shove….I couldn’t…and I didn’t. How do you stand in front of a group of people and try to explain something you don’t truly understand yourself?!?!….and how do you do it when it’s obvious you don’t understand or feel the same thing everyone else in the group seems to feel?!?! So instead, I sat in my seat….let the tears roll….and began to write out what I would have shared….
You see I grew up in church. I’ve sat in Sunday school and services since I was able to walk. I know the basics of faith…or at least I do in my head. I know that I am saved by the grace of God, that it’s His work alone that makes me acceptable….or as my pastor has been saying, “Its Jesus plus Nothing”! But the thing is….secretly…..I’ve always thought it was God who saved me and what I do that keeps me in the palm of His hand. And while that puts a lot of pressure on me to always get it right and not disappoint God…I’ve always found comfort in this “Jesus plus something” mentality.
So sitting in service today…as I began to write this all down… I started thinking….why?....Why do I find so much security in what I do? It’s not like anything I do is really all that good…even my best efforts are tainted with pride and self centeredness….it’s basically like I’m standing before God holding up to Him the very dirt He made and hoping He’ll see my good in it! But why? Why?
Well carrying the thought out even more, I began to do some soul searching and I wrote a truth that shocked me! Because you see, I think what it really it comes down to is that if all of this is based on what I do, then I don’t have to rely on anyone else. You see, If I truly believe that my faith is “Jesus plus Nothing” then I have to place all my trust and faith in God…and that’s scary…that takes RISK! But if I think it’s “Jesus plus something”…something I do…then my trust and reliance is on me….therefore I NEVER have to risk putting my hope or trust in someone else….someone….who….could…Fail me…
The bible tells me to cast all my cares upon God for He cares for me. It says that He has plans to prosper me and not to harm me...Plans to give me a hope and a future. From the moment I was conceived, even before I was a thought in my mother’s head, God loved me. He formed me in her womb….He knows my thoughts, the hairs on my head, when I sit down and when I rise. He knows everything I’ve ever done and everything I will ever do…and He loves me. And His love….God’s love…its perfect…never ends….unfailing. I can trust in it. So why don’t I?
Honestly…I don’t know. I’m not really good at trusting anyone. I grew up in a great family. I have an amazing dad. But…Yeah…even when I look to my own family structure I see the pattern of me knowing I am loved, but also me working hard to keep it that way by what I do. Why do I do this? Why can’t I just accept love and acceptance like everyone else? Why do I always assume there are strings attached and that if I don’t hold up my end of the bargain everything will fall apart? Why is it easier for me to trust that it’s “Jesus plus Something” then to trust that it’s “Jesus plus Nothing” that equals my everything?!?
And I know I’m not suppose to say all this out loud….let alone think it. I’m just suppose to know deep in my heart that I am fully and completely loved by God and nothing can or ever will change that…..not anything I do and not anything I don’t do. And, I guess, in a way I do know that…I know it in my head…..I’m just hoping some day….someway….maybe through even being this honest....that this knowledge moves those six inches from my head to my heart!