Two years ago, I was sitting in a little white chapel. I had been a Youth Minister for about three years and I had accepted God’s invitation to “Come and See.” I was away for the weekend praying about becoming a full time missionary. During a Holy Hour on Sunday, before leaving, I read a book that had a list of questions to go through. The instructions were, “which question is God speaking to you right now?’” As I scrolled down the list, I was thinking, “well He’s not talking to me because none of these questions are popping out.” I read the next question that said “Will you let Me love you?” I giggled to myself. I thought, “Come on, Jesus, you already love me!” I’m not sure what made me jump more, his response or his next question. He shook His head and said, “I’m going to ask you again; will you let Me love you!?”
Oh, how quickly I forget that God is God and I am not. How quickly I forget that I am limited and God is infinite, that I am flawed and He is perfection, and that in my weakness his power is made perfect. I forget all these things when I believe the lies that are circling the drain of my heart. I get caught up in the pain of my wounds. I allow my doubts to be bigger than His promises. So often I run in circles searching for answers instead of running straight to the cross, throwing myself at Jesus’ feet. I search for answers instead of recognizing that, like a child who longs to be held by her Father, I have a Father who loves me so much that He sent His only Son to die for me.
Recently, life kicked me square in the chest, like a donkey was standing in front of me and boom! I couldn’t eat, couldn’t sleep, couldn’t breathe and life left a hoof print. I don’t like to be hurt. And I certainly don’t like to let others see me while I’m hurting. Weakness is not attractive, and being burdensome is not an option. So, when I am weak, I go into hiding. When the pain can’t be seen physically, it’s really easy to hide in plain sight. In my pain, the lies that I hear get louder and louder. “Nobody cares. Nobody sees you. Don’t you know that you’re too much to handle?” The list goes on and on, and the cave in which I’m hiding seems to get deeper and deeper.
In the book, The Shack by W.M. Paul Young, the author writes, “Living unloved is like clipping a bird's wings and removing its ability to fly. Pain has a way of clipping our wings and keeping us from being able to fly and if it's left unresolved for very long, you can almost forget that you were created to fly in the first place.” When I forget that I am loved by Jesus, I become incapable of living life to the fullest. I live in constant search for love in anything and everything I come in contact with. I search for someone or something to ease the pain, and I lose sight of the one who took all of my pain to the cross.
Suffering sucks. Sometimes it can and should be stopped. But what about the suffering that is inevitable? When we’re suffering, we’re looking for a solution to a problem: how do we stop making it hurt? What if there isn’t a solution to making the pain stop, but instead we have the courage to sit in our pain or with someone else in their pain? What if suffering isn’t so much a problem as it is an opportunity for us to share our pain and brokenness in communion with another?
Jesus encountered many people along the way that were “too much” for everyone else, but He saw them as they were. He saw their lies, their sins, their pain, their grief, and, instead of turning away, he was moved with pity and embraced them. Having abundant life isn’t possible without broken life. Jesus gave His Body for us to eat in remembrance of Him. His Body is broken, blessed, and given. Being broken is a part of life, but God’s blessing is always available to us, and He is always ready to make us a blessing to others.
Recently, God asked me an old familiar question, “Will you let Me love you?” My instinct, unfortunately, is to run and hide. His instinct, fortunately, is ALWAYS to come find me!! Even in my brokenness, He desires for me to see His abundance, He lavishes me with His love, and He invites me ever deeper into His heart! Where in your life is He asking you to let Him love you? Where do you need Jesus to come and speak truth into your heart? You are not alone. You are seen. You are loved!