We’ve got it all together.
We have seven hundred things on our to-do list, and we get them all done before lunch. We’ve got textbooks in one hand, Starbucks in the other and a baby on our hip while we’re wrapping up our third phone call, and somehow finding a way to open the car door with no available hands. We’ve made an idol of business and in the midst, romanticized exhaustion. We’re chasing capability as it teases us like the donut hanging off the end of the treadmill.
We’ve made a home of this wasteland and somewhere along the way, we started believing the lie that our last drink of water was the achievement of control.
If you’re like me, you know Jesus is there. You know if you could just let go, God would probably come through, right? Maybe it’s a lack of trust. Maybe it’s just too big of a risk. Maybe you’re willing to throw Him some of the small stuff and test it out, but giving Him the big stuff? Forget it.
When it comes to trust, you and I would trust someone we know much more easily than someone we don’t. What if our difficulty trusting Lord doesn’t come out of love of control, but lack of relationship? What if all we’re doing is walking through this life using the idea of capability as a coping mechanism for our impaired relationship with our Creator? If we only knew His nature and knew the role He wanted to take up in our lives, maybe this thing might be a little easier.
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly” (Mathew 11:28-30 MSG).
For almost six years now, I have lived a life with an always growing to-do list. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but the thing I ran to time and time in order to give myself a sense of control in my life was food. After such a long battle of wondering why it was so difficult to turn to Jesus when I knew without a doubt that He would take me as I was, it wasn’t until a few months ago that I realized I wasn’t going to Him because I was afraid He would look and me with eyes of judgment and condemnation and say to me, “Eat.”
My friends, I cannot stress to you enough how untrue this was. I cannot tell you with any amount words how far from the nature of Jesus this action would be. By not running to the Father in these moments, you are not escaping a divine wrath, you are withholding the opportunity for Him to pour out the grace He is so urgently extending to you. He is not fighting you, He is at war with the things inside of you that are eating away at you. His adversary is the one telling you the lie that you’ve got to hold it together on your own. The one telling you that you don’t deserve love or grace or mercy. The one telling you that if you run to the Father, He will speak to you out of judgment and anger. Friends, run from this lie, for the God we serve is compassionate.
“Change your life, not just your clothes. Come back to God, your God. And here’s why: God is kind and merciful. He takes a deep breath, puts up with a lot, This most patient God, extravagant in love, always ready to cancel catastrophe” (Joel 2:13-14 MSG).
You don’t have to clean up your life first. You don’t have to earn His love back. You don’t have to make a ten mile journey home. Like the prodigal son returning, when the Father sees you on the horizon, He will run. Turn around. Take one step toward Him and He will take ten million toward you. Healing is here. Peace is here. Rest is here. Home is here. So, maybe it’s been these last few weeks or maybe you’re going on five years with this weight on your shoulders. Whether you’re looking for relief or recovery, He truly does take us as we are and never has there been a better time to come back home.
words by Lauren McLemore and photo by Sara Beth Pritchard