This is your weekly reminder that we are fasting and praying on Mondays for the Lord to bring men and women to Himself, for men to walk boldly into relationship, for women to see where we need to change, and for God-honoring marriages to be given to those who desire them.
So I have known for quite a while that 2012 would be full of change…I knew my dear roommate would be getting married, I’d be finishing grad school in December (fingers crossed), and moving to a new apartment. All good things, right?
But somehow knowing that these are good things doesn’t stop me from silently panicking about my life on the other side of change, or from lecturing my roommate that she’s not packing quickly enough (not my finest moment). And today as I was driving home from church, the stress surfaced in unbidden tears and honest questions and simple prayers about life, my future, my purpose….and about His plan, His goodness, His love. As I drove (occasionally hitting the steering wheel for emphasis and trying to find that stash of Chipotle napkins to wipe my eyes), I felt like everything I was saying got summed up in three adjectives:
Lord, I feel alone. I feel afraid. I feel ashamed.
Yep. And my grand plan had been to get married and kill those three birds with one stone. (Ideally an obnoxiously large, cushion-cut diamond-type of stone….but I digress.) A husband would prove I’m not alone, I have someone to protect me, and I don’t have to be ashamed of failing at life because no one picked me to be on their marriage team.
Somehow, I think this is a microcosm of the Gospel. All humanity since the Garden of Eden (get the whole story from Genesis 3), has been separated from God, afraid of being seen by God, and ashamed of our brokenness. That we search for anything and everything (marriage, perchance?) to feel unalone, unafraid and unashamed, and yet never find anything to truly satisfy.
That in Jesus Christ, God sends us His very own son, Emmanuel (God with us). That Emmanuel lives a life of perfect grace and truth, and then dies a brutal death for all our fear, all our hiding, and all our shame. That more importantly, on Easter morning, all the price was paid for the rest of time and eternity. That I can be ransomed, forgiven and adopted into a true relationship in which I am not alone, in which I do not have to fear, in which my shame has already been addressed and buried.
So if any of those adjectives also apply to you this Monday, take a moment to sink deeply into the truth of His gospel — We are not alone. We do not have to fear. Our shame was handled at the cross. So tears may still come unbidden, and learning to live fearlessly, unashamedly with Emmanuel is a long process, but we can be confident that He who began a good work in us will carry it on to completion. Even in the face of moving, finishing school, someone else’s wedding, and crying in my car.
In His Grace,