This last week has been one for the books. I’m going to go ahead and tell you upfront that I’ve been rude, unkind, and unusually grouchy for the past 7 days (though my family would tell you its been more like 7 years). As a result, selfishness has taken over the driver’s seat in my life and things like joy, relationships and showering have taken a back row seat. Actually, showering has most definitely been put in the trunk. Moving on…
If I had to place a finger on exactly why I’ve been so precious lately, I wouldn’t be able to provide an answer without first offering up a lot of emotion-filled, unnecessary details. Instead of taking this approach, I usually just opt to say oh, its nothing. Or, if I’m feeling more dramatic, I might say its just…everything! But today, I’m mad just because.
Remember being a kid and questioning a parent’s decision on something with a long and whiny “whhhyyyyyy” only to have this question repelled with, “because I said so?” The memories I have of receiving this answer time after time are not fond ones. In my childish mind, I saw this as an illegitimate answer, but my parents found it to be a very appropriate response. I
quickly eventually learned not to argue any further once I heard those four famous words because by golly, if they said so, the case was closed.
Today, it’s in my “just because” state of mind that Satan seems to launch his best attacks. It’s in those moments of indifference that his lies are believable, spun with just enough truth to make them seem real. If there’s one thing I know about Satan, its that he always goes right for my pride.
You’re not good enough, you’re not smart, you’re not pretty, you can’t do that, you’ll never be capable, you’re too young, you aren’t worthy, you aren’t loved, you’ll never be enough – he whispers. When my spirit is broken and I’m in a weakened and vulnerable state, I feel I have no other choice than to accept these lies as if they were my fate. I feel sad, I feel angry, and then pity has a great big party in my heart.
And that pretty much describes last night. As embarrassed as I am to admit it, the hardships of life and the harshness of lies all culminated into one great big meltdown. I did the ugly cry and God and I had some words.
As for this morning, His mercies didn’t feel very new. I woke up still carrying the weight of bitterness from the previous days (and weeks and months). This morning I talked to God about the way He answers my prayers. I did manage to thank Him for at least always answering my prayers, even when He doesn’t answer according to my will. He never unplugs; he never ignores.
This morning He answered in a sweet, surprising way. My precious friend came to my office with a huge, yummy salad, a new prayer journal, and a bag of specialty soaps. She knew not from my words, but from my lack of words, that my heart needed some help. She also knows my need for salad, time with Jesus, and a shower. She didn’t do this because I deserve it. She didn’t do it because she owes me something. She did it because I stink. Kidding. She did it because she understands the heart of Jesus. She did it just because.
Life on this earth is so hard sometimes. Some days, the cross I’m called to bear seems especially weighty. The Lord is gracious to remind me that He knows what’s on my heart, in the presence and the absence of my words. And He doesn’t just know, He acts. Today, He acted through a friend that reflects His love so very well.
I’m just so humbled. His grace is so sweet. I’m grateful that I have a Father who loves me regardless with a kind of love that abolishes lies. It’s not a love I’ve earned, nor a love that I deserve. Its love without conditions. It’s a love that feeds. It’s a love that washes clean the dirtiest of hearts. It’s a just because kind of love. You know how I know?
Because He said so.
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”