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Great Is Thy Faithfulness

I know it doesn’t make much sense.

Someone reflected back to me last week that it is true–I have been holding onto the hem of Jesus’ cloak, following Him amicably, grumpily, begrudgingly for 18 years. The number doesn’t make sense. Over half of my life has been spent following a God I cannot see, believing in a Savior whose story is acknowledged by most people, believer or not. Eighteen years of life. It’s come to the point where the line between before and after has blurred, and I just don’t know that I really remember who I was without Him.

I know. It doesn’t make much sense.

It’s been eleven months since I’ve written a blog post, even more since I truly considered myself a “blogger”. The Internet and social media just keeps changing, and now I’m 75 minutes deep in Reels before I realize what has happened. It’s all a distraction, you know? It sucks me in like a good book but without any meat, without any nourishment for my soul. Instead I’m left wondering, “Why doesn’t my life look like that?”, and thus begins a down spiral of doubt. It shouldn’t leave you wondering why I don’t blog anymore, why I don’t share every photo I take of my kids, why I post less and less frequently. I would rather be sucked into the eyes of my four-, six-, eight-, or nine-year-old. I would rather laugh uncontrollably with my husband, who, daily, is the greatest joy of my life. There is too much rich joy to be had in life playing out before my eyes for me to share every second with you, whoever you are.

In these eleven months, I’ve been shattered and rebuilt. I still don’t want to talk about it, let alone write about it. It is true what the Word says about God pruning us, ridding us of that which does not produce fruit. It’s true. The removal and regrowth is just as painful as it sounds, and it changed everything for me. Everything. I found Jesus again and again, and finally, I let Him have me. To be restored from the pit, to be lifted from the miry clay, to be transformed more and more into His image is a painful gift that I didn’t want yet desperately needed.

Eighteen years is what it took.

Eighteen years, and I finally agreed that I couldn’t do it on my own. I couldn’t follow a God I couldn’t see in my own power. I couldn’t believe in Jesus without welcoming Him and all His people into my life. I couldn’t muster the strength to continue anymore without falling completely and totally at His mercy. So I did. Crumpled in a heap, a mess of pain, waiting to be gathered into His arms. So I was. It took a long time to find my way back to my feet again.

It doesn’t make much sense how God works. I write blog posts like these ones, interlaced with Scripture if you can catch it, and find ways to tell my story that are weaved with His heart in mine. It isn’t all beautiful and melodic like I can write it out to be. It is often filled with journals upon journals of anguish and lament, wondering why God would allow pain in my heart, why my brain cannot quite catch up with the truth. I crawled to Him daily before I could walk in any type of strength. Let me tell you–He will have you anyway you can get to Him. Whether you are cut off at the knees, crippled, unable to move. He will take you. He will gather you up. He will reach out to you if you can’t reach out to Him. He is kind like that. I know because He did it for me.

I asked God today to remind me. To tell me again how good He has been. Do you know how often I forget? Eighteen years have passed, and still I linger in my questioning instead of resting in His promise. I asked Him to show me again. To remind me of just yesterday when I was singing a song, and I saw Him hugging me like a daddy hugs his kid. To keep reminding me. How faithful You have always been! Even when I am not. Even when I am barely making it to You.

It doesn’t make sense, and I think that is a great gift.

The faithfulness of God does not need to make sense for it to be true. If it did, our faith would rely on what we can see, and that isn’t faith at all.

Eleven months. Eighteen years. Time passes, and He is faithful still. Thank You, Jesus.

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10 Day Reflection: Nothing & Everything

“I care too deeply.”

The answer I would give if you asked me to describe my greatest weakness. I care so much my insides twist at the thought of disappointing even a stranger.

I am the queen of pushing myself to the side to appease the needs of others. The empathy within me runs deep. To help others at my own expense is a strength and a weakness; it is nothing and everything.

Imagine the height of my empathy in a year when everything collapsed and careened out of control. My core was ravaged by the idea of caring for all of the pain in the world. When it became too much, I totally withdrew. I cannot face conflict when there is too much of it. It feels like exposing a wound over and over to a grain of salt, expecting a different outcome when it all just feels like pain. So I wrapped myself in the softest thing I could find, disengaged from as much as I safely could, and saved my empathy for the people I love the most: my husband and my kids.

That has been the last nine months in a nutshell, only in a rollercoaster of a pattern, with great months and incredibly hard ones.

Maybe you relate, maybe you don’t. Maybe this year has been pretty okay. Maybe this year has been the hardest of your life. It has been all out of the ordinary, right? And while I dislike the idea of change, I know this year is ripe for it. I don’t know how many times I’ve said, “I just want things to be normal,” only to realize that normal has changed completely, for now. It’s like traveling without directions, walking with a blindfold, wondering how to walk a path we cannot see without knowing where we’re going. I’ve been stopped for a long while, unwilling to move. There’s nothing special about today. But it does feel like the right day to take some kind of step in one direction or another.

Ten days of reflection is a nice way of saying I like to publicly process even though I’m a pretty private person. Processing how things are different compared to the way they were a year ago. My brain longs to say, “It’s nothing!”. But really, it’s everything. Nothing is the same; everything has changed.

As I was finishing up classes this past week, I had the chance to study Romans 14. It’s a chapter about the importance of not being a “stumbling block” to others. In other words, don’t do things that make faith difficult for others. In even better words (aka my interpretation), don’t be selfish.

One sentence in this portion of his letter to the Roman church has stuck with me for days. He says, “If your brother or sister is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love” (Rm. 14:15). In this context, some believers feel free to eat what they like. Others don’t. This isn’t so much an issue today. Most of us eat what we like without getting mad at each other about it. But we do have a habit of doing what we want without considering how it could impact others.

The thing about following Jesus is the longevity of it. Acting in love is not a choice we make one time. It’s a choice we make all the time. Maybe it’s just me, but there are days when I feel like we each have our own definition of what love is. Or what it looks like. We use the same logic to explain our differences in politics, ideologies, or behaviors. Until our love is God’s, it’s some lackluster version of it.

Nothing feels the same, but really, I think it’s better that way. What was normal is being unveiled, exposed for what it was. Much of the normality we experienced was fine. But why would we return to what was without being changed by all that has happened to us? Why would we guard ourselves against the light when the light is known for revealing what was left in the darkness?

Everything has changed. Today feels like the right day to acknowledge that it’s true. I fear change and what it could expose in me. But maybe what it’s exposed is what I need and what I needed to throw out of my sight. It frees us up to look around and see where we are, what stumbling blocks we’ve left in our wake. It gives us a chance to stretch our limbs and move towards those who need our love the most. God’s love.

I don’t know. Maybe it’s nothing. But maybe it’s everything.

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Waterproof

I picked up the tube of mascara that I normally forgo every morning. Waterproof. I don’t need waterproof. I don’t plan on crying today. At least, I don’t feel stressed enough at this moment to warrant an overflow of emotion at the end of the day. But the other tube is empty. Actually, I can’t unscrew it because dried mascara has cemented it shut, so I threw it in the trash. Waterproof it is.

By the end of the day I’m scrubbing coconut oil on my 30-year-old eyelids, annoyed by the extra step this waterproof (unnecessary so far today) mascara is. I wash it away with face wash. Splash water on my face. I stand up tall to look in the mirror to make sure I got every bit, and it’s like my fingers snapped. Something clicked in my mind. Ten seconds have passed, and yet I’m realizing something fragile and true. With the snap of my fingers, clarity descended.

Before this year began, I had restlessness in my mind and my heart. Change was coming quickly, and I could feel it like an impending earthquake ready to dismantle what I’ve always known. Obviously, I didn’t anticipate…anything that this year entailed. But I did know something was changing in our life. I just didn’t know all the ways it would unfold.

To utter the truth, I didn’t know that 2020 would involve leaving our church home for a new one or leaving our community and friends for new people. I did know that God was calling us. But I am reluctant, stubborn as ever when change means taking action. Staying in the comfort of what we have always known was and is the safer option. It requires no risk. I can plan for it, line up my expectations, and live my life with little change. But God. We were called to leave. In the middle of a pandemic. I don’t know if that’s kindness or cruelty, but it felt like both some days. Everything we ever knew about familiarity, community, and the church body was thrown out the window. We had entered new terrain.

This year has also meant forgoing any (and all) of my plans. I am an empathetic person, and more often than not, I will do what works best for others. That’s not always a valuable characteristic. It depends on the situation at hand. This year has pushed me farther and farther to care for the needs of others. Where I thought I was compassionate, I have realized I am not. Where I thought I cared for my neighbor, I realized I didn’t really. This year has pushed me further: to be more like Jesus, more like His selfless, giving spirit.

As I rubbed the waterproof mascara from my eyes and looked at that woman in the mirror, I recognized her. The unidentifiable purpose for a year like this one had finally snapped into clear view. In a matter of seconds, I noticed it. Everything simultaneously felt flipped upside down and turned right side up. What has felt like a purely sacrificial year, a year of giving up everything, has been and will continue to be a year of preparation. Preparation for everything that God has meant for me.

And yet it feels nothing like preparation. What is preparation actually looks so mundane, boring, and inconsequential at this moment. Or it looks like everything that benefits everyone else except me. It feels like torture to do all the things I don’t want to do, pushed to my limits to do things against my nature in order to survive. It’s like trying to remove my waterproof mascara. Changing these habits of who I always was and who I thought I was meant to become…requires more than just water to cleanse. Sometimes it takes multiple steps to get rid of what has always been to make way for something new.

It’s getting closer to December. It has felt like the longest year of my life and the most difficult. Amen? We are all feeling some type of way. It is all hard, all testing, and all important. Every feeling that passes through me feels like wildfire or salt in wounds. Some days I don’t know how I’ll make it farther and farther. Yet here we are, months and months later, with a life that felt like it was hit by an earthquake, habits, and comforts upended that we’ve kept for years.

I don’t have any robust encouragement for you today. Saying that 2020 is a year of preparation might be true, but it doesn’t mean I’m going to make a plan to do all the things. It just means that while it is all hard, it doesn’t mean it is all for naught. When I find myself in the kitchen making something for my kids, I’ll turn the music up louder and sing to Jesus a little be more. I’ll cry when it feels like I need to and maybe even when I don’t. I’ll pray like my life depends on it because it does. And I’ll change. I’ll keep changing. I’ll wash off the old and find that newness there, too. Maybe it won’t be as pretty or put together as it was before. But at least it will be me. At least it will be true.

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The Morning

I need the early morning. It would survive without me, but if I don’t wake to it, I breathe shallow breaths instead of deep, rejuvenating inhales.

This morning I opened my eyes to my alarm, and I laid there.

“Get up. Get up. Get up. You have to get up.” I say it in my mind until I’m awake enough to really hear it. My husband hates that I love to hit the snooze button. I’ll press it until 8 AM without question or thought. So I pester myself, pep-talk my way into wakefulness. I would rather close my eyes and go back to sleep. But what’s waiting for me is just as essential to my health as the sleep I crave.

I need the early morning, before my kids wake up, before I put clean dishes away, and before I do anything else. Just 15 minutes alone, time to pray, time to think, and time to read is all it takes for me to feel more like myself than if I choose to sleep in a little bit longer.

Get up. Get up.

The morning will move on with or without me. It will be there each day, waiting for me to fill its presence on my couch in the living room. It doesn’t need me for it to exist, it doesn’t need me for the promise of tomorrow. It is sure as the sun, sure as the moon, sure as the time that passes day by day. It welcomes me in whatever state I am in, which is so often disheveled and tired, unkempt, and messy. The morning sees the most vulnerable and unprotected version of me, the one that rolls out of bed with the hope that the morning will give me a little more of the peace that I so desperately need.

It’s hard to escape God when we live in a world like this one. People are unreliable in every way, even though they are made in the image of God. People let me down all the time. So unreliable. So unlikeable at times. Yet in the morning, when the sun rises and shines through my back door, snaking through the trees, I remember God better than before. The sunlight is like Him in so many ways: fierce and warm, reliable, and safe. The morning light is just as reliable. I can count on it to come through every day. Even if the sun is covered by clouds, still the sun rises. Even if the day is bleak, the morning still comes. Even if my bed would seem to be the safest place to hide from the world, still the morning finds me.

That’s the beauty of God. I wish that truth would permeate us like the warmth of sunlight. The truth is, it is not that God has to travel to come to us. He is as reliable as the morning: always there, ready, anticipating our welcome. We have to move toward Him. What’s more, even I don’t wake every day wanting to move toward that early morning light. Sometimes it’s just dark. Sometimes I am so tired, longing for the warmth of sleep, desperate for an escape from whatever the day holds. There are days when moving towards God feels just as painful as walking on the sun itself, feet burning, tears stinging in the heat. But the reward is always worth it: the moment I find myself in the reliable morning hours, I find Him right next to me. I look terrible. I look tired. I feel sluggish and unprepared for time with a God who loves me more than any sun in the sky. Yet He is always ready for me, always reliably present when I’m ready to be with Him, consistent as the sun.

What a relief it is that the rising of the sun doesn’t depend on me. What a relief that the presence of God is not dependent on my heart and soul. Both are near, regardless of me. Nothing we can do pushes Him away. Nothing we can do can stop the sun from rising and setting day in and day out. The least we can do is get up, make our way toward the couch where we’ll find Him waiting. Reliable as the sun. Reliable as the morning. He will meet us there.

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Storyteller

Years ago she sat on the floor of her closet, waiting for salvation to change the circumstances of reality. The carpet fibers were filled with the remnants of her tears, the pages of her journal splayed open like an abstract painting on display. Everything and nothing made sense. The deepest desire of her young heart never met. She returned often for the reprieve of grace, like a war room of tears and truth.

Years passed. The journals she filled sat in a bin in the cold basement. The symbol of them is interesting, funny even. They’ve found themselves in a place that existed before she knew how to walk, and they’re surrounded by a history she will never know. That’s the gift of an old house. It houses memories forever, most of which will never be recalled without the presence of the soul who inhabited the walls. And for every new soul, a few memories are left to live in the walls and the windows, never recollected again.

In the corner, they sit, the memories of every day for years and years of becoming a woman. She walks above, navigating a world where everything is harder than it was when she first started writing. She writes less and less because she is needed more and more by eight other hands, eight other feet, four little souls. Difficulty isn’t the right way to look at it. Complexity is. There was once a time when everything was about her. Now, she fights for a day when any choice is hers for the taking. Throw in a pandemic of unprecedented times, and the choices become fewer and farther between.

It seems boring. Monotonous, even. The same thing, everyday. The same choices, everyday. The same work, everyday. This is the dynamic that threatens other women everyday: they feel lost to a world made up of the needs of others. Theirs fall to the wayside like rocks tumbling down a cliff as she and every woman like her makes choices that benefit everyone else. A blessing and a curse.

But recently, she picked up the pen again. What started as a memory of the days she was living turned into a practice for sanity, a recollection of God in her life. Sometimes it takes grace and hell colliding for something new to come forth. Waking before the children, staying up after bedtime, writing and writing for no purpose other than because it’s who she is. Love letters to a saving God, laments for a time she never wanted, gratitude for a life at all. If her journal could tell her story, it would be a one of vulnerability. It’s what she knows, like the backs of her hands. Acknowledging the present circumstance, the present feeling, the present thought is what moves her from mediocre to greatness. She looks on at others waiting or failing to do the same and wonders if they have yet to see the other side of their coin.

If there’s any reason to be better, it’s for the time we are in. It’s for the people we love. It’s for the minds we have within us, the hearts that beat, the souls that sway and ache in the wind. Making our way to the people we want to be, the better versions of ourselves, is a complex trek past what is often outside of our control. We need the blinders like race horses to keep our eyes on one prize, to keep moving towards a purpose and goal that transforms our present reality. I don’t know what I’d do without Jesus. All that might be left of me is a stack of journals that tell the story of a girl turned woman who fought hard to be herself and lost time and time again. He is what gets me through. He’s the one I write letters to, day in and day out, working to move closer to Him so I reflect more of Him. It feels like the loftiest of goals and the most trivial of decisions when the world falls and quakes in the wake of calamity. Yet it is this One, this God, who is the catalyst for every important movement that I can make. With Him, my story is His story. Without Him, I have journals in a basement.

The story we write is just as important as the story we reflect. It changes us from words on paper to living reflections of grace. From storyteller to the story we tell. From the potential to the living. From grace to grace.

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The Chaos of Being Loved

Wake up. Poor coffee.

Sit in the chair at the head of the table and overlook the kids and their tablets, my chaos and my loves. We move through the motions of attendance, zoom calls, schoolwork, repeat. Weeks of chaos brought a consistency and routine that is chaotic from the outside but rhythmic for me. Moving, serving, answering, helping. Then we sleep only to awake and do it all over again.

I’ve never been more of a homebody than I am right now. I don’t realize I haven’t left the house in five days until it’s Friday, and the week has passed me by. I don’t mind it. I don’t question it. It is what it is, this rhythm. I mean, I could complain this all to the ground. Create cracks in the facade of “making it”. But I learned quickly that it’s an avalanche when the complaints start with me. Nothing works as it should, all of us crumble to tears, and the animosity is thick between us all. We really are making it through. One day at a time.

I’ve started waking before anyone else’s feet hit the ground. I have to get up before them and find the quiet space in my mind so that when there is no quiet, I can pour out patience from a place of peace. I wake and pray. Everyday. I never used to be a wake and pray type of person. I used to be a let-me-sleep-in type of person. But I realized I was falling apart when I didn’t have the quiet space. I was eager to be angry, anticipating the frustration, and all but willing to succumb to defeat. I just don’t know how we make it without Jesus. I don’t know how to survive the days when they are what they are. He gives me what I lack, which in this point in time, feels like everything.

I’ve given up more than I wanted to in the past few months. I am itching to be called in for something, anything. To get out of our current routine. To do something that feels more meaningful than what I’ve been given. We’ve experienced change this year that has pulled the rug out from beneath my feet multiple times. When all I want is to walk in the distinct calling given me by God, I can’t shake off the feeling that this year has given me the short end of the stick, the bargain I didn’t want, and second-best.

I’m sure you know what I mean. If ever the collective world felt the same about a time in life, it is this year. It cycles through my thoughts, circling my soul to tear me apart bit by bit. I question if the choices I’ve made are nothing but the wrong ones. I wonder if the result of what we have or haven’t done in a year have resulted in me feeling like I have lost myself. If I have given up on who I thought I was. I let “what ifs” dictate the way I stand and take up space in the world because I’ve allowed some kind of liar tell me otherwise.

The turmoil of questioning is like a rung towards existence. Unavoidable. You want to get where God is leading you? This is part of the trip. Is this really who I am? Have I royally screwed up this entire thing? How could this ever be made the way I hoped it would be?

It’s funny. What starts as an overlooking of my kids doing schoolwork in the comfort of our home becomes an assault on my character. I don’t notice it before it’s too late. Always too late. The brilliance of God is that He is not a liar. He is not a thief. And He does not destroy. That’s why He’s Creator.

If you’re like me, which I am just going to assume that you are, I hope I can shake you awake in this moment. What destroys your intuition and your confidence is a lie that was not fastened by God. He didn’t bind it to your existence or give you the space to acknowledge it as truth. That’s not our Jesus. He isn’t so ruthless that He would destroy you. It’s not in His nature.

What is true is that we were awakened this morning by His breath. I shuffled out of bed to grab my Bible and journal, and when I went towards Him, He came running towards me. He isn’t going to make us go far to find Him. I think He’s always within reach, always moving towards us. When I made coffee, sat down at our table, and watched my boys begin their day, I got more than I was ready to receive. I anticipated that my days as a mom would change and become less involved with my children’s lives. Instead, we’re just plain discipling them. Firsthand. I am given minutes and hours that I would not have had otherwise. Even more, they are making me better. They need me, and I’m realizing that I needed them, too.

What is true is that waiting on God is not a waste of my time. Waiting on anyone else is. He is faithful to the end. He is not wasting time by setting us on paths that don’t seem to align with our plans. Our plans suck, let’s be real. His are so magnificent and intricate that I’d take them any day over my measly ideas. His are better. So much better.

What is true is that chaos waits for us, and chaos is in us. What a patient God we have that He would love us enough to never leave us. He waits for me in the morning, while I’m drinking coffee, while I’m explaining math, while I’m reading for school, while I’m taking my two-year-old to the bathroom, while I’m writing another college paper, while I’m moving through the motions of routine. My world feels like a whirlwind, and I get to stand in the eye with Him and overlook it. Nothing a surprise to Him. Nothing out of His control. Chaotic love binds me to Him like a mother and child.

We sleep only to wake and do it all over again. Over and over. The same day, the same week, the same tasks over and over. Refereeing the same fights, holding, loving, reminding. Before I’m called in, I’ll hold each of these moments knowing it’s all a marvelous “get to”. He’s brilliant, isn’t He, to give us all something so precious as this.

10 Day Reflection: Better Than It Seems

Tiny footsteps thumped through the house the other morning when the first snowfall of the year arrived. “MOM! It’s SNOWING!” she yelled from the kitchen. Mind you, I was still in bed. But I couldn’t help but jump out to join her, standing at the back door watching the blanket fall to the ground.

I forgot how magical it is to have a three-year-old at Christmas. When my last boy was three, we were in the thick of a lot of things with toddlers and having three young boys so close in age. I don’t remember much from that time because I was really just trying to survive. Our girl is bringing it back to me: the magic and wonder of the changing seasons and the beauty of a time like this one.

So this morning, when the snow was falling, I peaked out my door to ask Rosie if she saw the snow. I think I might have been more excited than she was, only because I love to see the joy on her face. She loves every bit of this time, squeezing as much joy out of every moment until it’s dry. It’s how she goes about life: fully and completely experiencing what she loves with unhindered joy. Such freedom.

Oh to be a child again, right?

Mine have been teaching me that everything is better than it seems. Really.

They just aren’t worried at all, you know? I get worried so easily. I’ll toss and turn in bed at night while my mind spins thinking about all the things. Often it will spin until I write down everything I’m thinking. The things I worry about never come to pass most of the time. The result is less joy, less freedom. Being an adult seemed better when I was 14 and dreaming about the future.

Today I am grateful for time and the ridiculous amounts of it I have been able to spend with my kids this year. More than ever and more than planned. Some days I don’t feel that way. Some days they drive me mad, either angry or crazy. Just thankful and wouldn’t have it any other way.

The snow is falling today, and I am just so happy to see it.

10 Day Reflection: A Sorrowful View

My oldest loves the game Guess Who. Let’s be real: I love Guess Who. I used to go to a neighbor’s house as a kid, go down to her basement, and specifically request to play Guess Who. Back when commercials were still part of our daily TV viewing, I remember seeing the commercial for the game, thinking it looked out-of-this-world amazing.

Yet, whenever my oldest asks me to play Guess Who, it feels like it is always the worst time. The most inconvenient time. Or I’m exhausted and can’t imagine trying to play a game after a long day. He asks in expectation. More often than I want to admit, I say no. A game we both love.

The thing about being human is that disappointment is unavoidable. Whether we’re disappointed in others or disappointing others, we’re just not great at holding up our end of the bargain. It doesn’t mean we aren’t good. It means we aren’t perfect, and that’s okay. If we’re reaching to please everyone we know, we’ll be left burned out and frustrated that we failed (because we inevitably will).

The thing about God is that He is not like us. I think about the many criticisms laid against the Church, and it’s clear that they are criticisms of Its people. We have not done well to show the world what Jesus is like. Instead, we’ve shown them a washed down version of Him, a one-upping of ourselves that is based on a desire to please rather than a desire to love.

I laid in bed last night thinking about this. The disappointment. The sorrow of trusting humanity to fulfill our need and desire for purpose. We’ve seen pastors and leaders fall rapidly to their own disappointing faults, and we’ve seen all of us criticize each other. It’s what we’re best at. That, alongside criticizing the world, the government, our neighbors, ourselves, etc. In a world like this one, and often in a Church like the one we see now, disappointment and criticism go hand-in-hand.

While I never sought out to disappoint my oldest son because I didn’t want to play a board game, I did anyway. It doesn’t mean I’m a bad mom. Not in the slightest. It does mean I’m human, and falling short when it comes to the expectations of others is just part of the gig. I’ll make it up to my son because I love him.

This differs greatly from God. It is not possible for Him to disappoint us. It is not possible for Him to fail us or fall short when it comes to our expectations of Him. If He does, we’re not trusting, loving, relying on, or following God. We’re following our own idea of Him.

When we read the Bible, it’s full of stories of humanity interacting with a holy God. Never once does God fail. Humanity does. It’s our calling card. Even the most revered characters in the Bible are huge failures in multiple areas of their life. David is known for slaying a giant, but he also raped a woman and killed her husband (2 Samuel 11). Paul spread the Gospel far and wide, but he also persecuted and slaughtered Christians in the name of the Law (Acts 9).

You know who changes absolutely everything for us? Jesus. His work redeems us from our failings, our unavoidable disappointments. While following Him doesn’t mean we never make a mistake again, it does mean we have a higher standard to live up to.

God does not disappoint. People disappoint. It’s a remarkable difference.

The standard of our humility is on trial here. It is a sorrowful view when a person who leads us doesn’t have the wherewithal to recognize their inability to please each and every one of us. The sorrow snakes throughout the Church when we put our faith in people and not in an unfailing Creator. The sorrow leaks out and taints our witness. What should always be a reflection of Jesus quickly becomes a reflection of an ever-disappointing viewpoint of us.

Phew. It’s worth mentioning that we are not inherently bad. We were made to be good. It’s written in the first few words of the Word, and it’s written in the first few moments of our life. Our nature is a broken one, but at our core, we are good and worthy of being good. Disappointment doesn’t have to be our calling card or even our bloodline. Redemption can be. Humility should be. Love must be.

From beneath the surface, everything looks like sorrow. The view is coated in stains. But above the water, above the murky and suffocating nature, is real beauty. Real glory and freedom. We could rest in our disappointment, of ourselves and others. But I would rather now. We can’t forget the God who loved us first, loves us each second, loves us til the end.

He remembers his covenant forever, the promise he made, for a thousand generations…for great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the nations are idols, but the Lord made the heavens. Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and joy are in his dwelling place.

David, 1 Chronicles 16:15, 25-27