When your life breaks into a thousand pieces, God picks them up. When you’re not sure how you’re going to put your life back together, God does it in a brand new way. When you look at your life and wonder why it’s now different from the way it was before, God shows you how your new life now reveals God’s glory far more. When you wonder what you’re going to do with the new you, God places a vision on your heart about what your life is going to be like. And when all of this happens, that’s when you give God glory and praise because God has taken your brokenness and resurrected it into new life.
I am far from perfect, but also have an amazing ability to love. I sin, but can set aside my own interests in order to do the right thing. I too often fail when I try to do my best, but often live in light of a larger vision that embraces me. This mysterious mixture of opposites is simply who I am. Yet I am also far more. That’s because I belong to Jesus, who redeems, transforms and calls me to share him in real ways with real people living in real life. And embracing this as my true identity frees me for Kingdom living today.
Much discourse right now is based on fanning flames of resentment, demonizing others and embodying a spirit of divisiveness. And to quote a well-known axiom, the system is perfectly designed to get exactly the results it’s producing. Our results are polarization, gridlock, mistrust and, all too often, an inability to deal with the real issues we need to address. Not just in the political realm, but in literally every aspect of life – including the Body of Christ. But think what might happen if those of us who are Jesus’ followers were to show a different way by seeking to live what Jesus says in everything we do: 37 Jesus replied, “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Love him with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and most important commandment. 39 And the second is like it. ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’” (Matthew 22:37-39 NIRV) Does this seem too simple? Maybe. And that’s just the point.
You probably have a list of things you believe you need to accomplish today. But in the midst of all you think you need to do, there’s one ‘to do’ that dwarfs all the others. That is figuring out what you are going to do today because of Whose you are that you probably would never get around to doing otherwise. Belonging to Jesus – who is your Lord, Savior, brother, friend, teacher, healer and mentor – changes your life, your attitudes, your priorities and your actions. Quite simply, if Jesus makes a difference at all in your life, he’s going to make a difference in how you live today. And that means you and Jesus have the high privilege of figuring out exactly what that’s going to be.
So here’s how it is with my soul today. My heart breaks at all the suffering, struggle and pain I see. I am angry about the epidemic of hardened hearts and demonization of others. I struggle when I see the world fracturing right before my eyes.
I have to admit to myself what You already know: I have lots of ideas about how to make things better. And I will continue to do what I can when I can. But I’ve realized something – not without some pain and dark nights of the soul – as I have journeyed to this point in my life. I need to do a reset with You, so that what I do is truly Your will, and not a disguised attempt to work out my own desires or have You bless my will.
Let me make it my heart’s desire and life’s work to open my heart to the fullness of Your grace in Jesus that is unconditional, invitational and transformational. Help me do what I want to do, but struggle to do – become far more humble. Grow my heart of compassion. Let me learn to listen and understand before I do anything. Clarify for me what You are calling me to do with the gifts, experience and position I have. Nurture my resilience and courage so I may move forward when things become difficult. And always, always, always let it be about You and not me.
I am blessed by all Your blessings that shower me every day in so many ways. May my life be a blessing to You and to others.
I pray this in the strong name of Jesus.