Wherever there is any element of pride or of conceit, Jesus
cannot expound a thing. He will take us through the
disappointment of a wounded pride of intellect, through
disappointment of heart. He will reveal inordinate
affections-things over which we never thought He would have to
get us alone.
— Oswald Chambers
Jesus has this amazing way of working into all the cracks, pushing them into canyons, and then giving you a tour of all the stuff you’ve shoved into the space. All the emotional and spiritual junk that was tucked away, never to be seen by anyone- let alone your Savior- is suddenly strewn in front of you as you gaze into the open chasm that not so long ago was a tiny fracture in the earth beneath your feet. Often,what you see is covered in dust because you haven’t been able to touch those parts of your being for years, or half-finished from the last time the crack was split and you shoved it back together again before Jesus could show you too much. As your eyes travel over a life of hurts, embarrassments, and pride, Jesus is right there, looking at your mess and trying to put it to rest.
Let him. There’s no reason to hold onto what He is begging to take away. The battle to keep the pride of education, nationality, religion, and financial status is one that is not fought with clean hands. He won’t force you, but He will plead to choose His way over what the world tells you is “normal.”
It will hurt. You’ll be reminded of every stupid, or hurtful, thing you’ve done or said- not because He wants you to remember, but because handing over those moments will feel like you’re pretending they didn’t happen and you should be punished no matter who died so you could be forgiven.
You’ll fight and claw to keep your iniquity, just so you can tuck it all away again. Because, you see, as long as you own it, but don’t look at it, you can say that you’re OK- that whatever you did is in the past, and not important. Knowing that Jesus wants to take it away means that it matters to Him. That sucks. It sucks to know that anything about you is anything less than show-worthy.
Dig into the Word. Start in Genesis- see how much care was taken by our Creator! Read the Gospels- Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John-and learn the story of Jesus’ time on Earth; you’ll see that He knows what it is to be human, and what it is to give up all that is precious to you. Spend time in Psalms- They are full of praise and affirmation that the LORD is good.
Psalm 103: 10-12:
10He does not deal with us according to our sins,
nor repay us according to our iniquities.
11For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
12as far as the east is from the west,
so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
The worst part of this process comes when you look at the rest of the world, and begin to feel very alone. It will seem like everyone else who has grown in faith will have had a magical dust dropped above them, accelerating their knowledge and proximity to the Lord from 0-250. You may begin to resent them, which will only make Jesus’ work more difficult. Others may say that you’re a fool for “giving up” anything for your faith. Pray. Pray for wisdom and strength in your walk with Christ. Cry the tears that only God can dry.
8You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle.
Are they not in your book?
9Then my enemies will turn back
in the day when I call.
This I know, that God is for me.
10In God, whose word I praise,
in the LORD, whose word I praise,
11in God I trust; I shall not be afraid.
What can man do to me?
Pray, and read about Jesus. Again, go to the Gospels. Get to know the man who is taking away the crap. Remember that he worked into the cracks so that you could walk on solid ground.
*This is a much for me as it is for anyone reading. The Son is buffing away much of the shine that I’ve taken such pride in. The Devil is working very hard at keeping me isolated and angry. My spirit is so willing, but my flesh so incredibly weak. Still, I rest in the knowledge that He who died for me is still fighting for me.