Have you ever had one of those days where all of your brokenness is laid bare before you, and you find yourself in a mental boxing ring taking punch after punch? Maybe it lasts for a week, a month, or more. Every thought and interaction just brings up more evidence that you don’t measure up, that you have a long way to go. You long to be kinder, more selfless, more gentle, more patient, more loving, but it feels so far out of your grasp and the situation feels hopeless. Have you ever been there?
I found myself there recently, one of many return visits. I was getting ready to come before God for our “God Time”, and this particular day I found myself embarrassed to go before my King. I had been battling feeling inwardly ugly, weak, and broken. I had been blaming myself, running a comb through every detail of myself finding each shattered piece, with more than I expected to find, and I was mentally transfixed by each one and could not pull away. I cried out for God to hear me, asked Him to forgive me for the millionth time, asked Him to help me clean up the mess I’d made, and cried out my desperate need for His presence. I flipped through scriptures, read my devotional, and journaled, but the weight would not lift. Suddenly a quiet voice was whispered into my consciousness.
As I considered this whisper I realized that so often we find our spiritual gaze looking down. Down at the world around us, down at our immediate circumstances, down at ourselves. When we look down all we will find is brokenness. Scripture points out over and over again how our world is broken, how all have fallen short and have sinned. So when we focus on what is mortal our understanding is limited.
What happens when we look up?
When we look up and behold Jesus, when we fix our gaze on God, we take our eyes off of ourselves, off of the brokenness around us. Instead what we find is beautiful perfection! We see a perfect God who looks at our brokenness and because of the cross says, “So what?” What we see as a heavy burden that cripples us, He sees as a tiny pebble and knows just what to do with it. When we focus our thoughts on who He is, everything He is, we go from looking upon brokenness to complete perfection, and our burdens melt away. One of my favorite verses of scripture says:
“My grace is sufficient enough for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV
I once heard it said that what we are living now is a dream world, and Heaven is the reality. When we look up we behold the true reality, and when we look up at God- at Jesus- we see one who is more real than our own broken flesh and blood. As we look up and behold His perfection, His love, His grace, His faithfulness, His power, we find light breaking through and replacing the darkness. We find joy where there was sorrow. We find strength where there was weakness. His grace is sufficient; we can rest in His peaceful embrace.
That day I chose to look up, and what I saw was the faithful God and Father I had come to know. I reminded myself of all the times He provided for me, all the times He protected me, and all the broken parts of me that He has already redeemed and made beautiful. I recalled every beautiful name He called me so I could stand on who I truly was, my real self. Like the Israelites, I looked back on all that God had done throughout my life and who He was, and joy began to flood my heart, opening the doors to praise.
“You are good, good! Oh!”
Jenn Bander | Production Manager