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trust the new story

it’s hard to let God in sometimes

it’s hard to trust what He’s telling us about ourselves

isn’t it?

it’s hard to open up

it’s hard to see the truth of the story that He is telling.

especially if we’ve been hurt before

especially if we don’t think we need anyone else

especially if we feel like our struggles are our own

why is that?

for those of us who have been hurt before

for those of us who have really hurt somebody else

we know how easy it is to scar the human heart

we know how much damage we can do to one another

how much pain we can inflict

even with the best intentions.

but all of this lack of trust

it’s pride

and

it’s not what we’re called to.

at the same time, it’s really understandable.

our past experience leads to fear

which leads to trust issues

and this is generally manifested in one of two consequences

either

we don’t believe we’re worth anything

we don’t think anyone could ever accept us

we don’t know how we could possibly be forgiven for the things we’ve done

or

we believe we don’t need anyone else

we think that a savior is just a crutch for the weak

we don’t know that our hearts are sick and in need of desperate healing.

we’re just fine,

thank you,

let’s change the subject.

are you with me so far?

so as far as I can tell

it’s these two:

we think that we’re either too bad

or too good for God.

that’s why we don’t open up

that’s why we don’t trust Him.

and maybe we’d never say it out loud

but I think if we were really being honest with ourselves

I mean

if we really thought about it

we’d see how often this is the case

we’d see how often we fall into one of these two traps:

we think that we’re either too bad

or too good for God.

on a personal note

by some cruel twist of fate

somehow

I’ve been gifted with struggling with

both of these things

opposite ends of the spectrum

totally different extremes

but both of them

somehow

inexorably

irreversibly

stubbornly fixed

firmly centered

deep down

in the cold

hidden cracks of my heart.

but neither of these beliefs are true

they aren’t worth clinging to.

we are not too bad to be forgiven

and

we are not good enough on our own.

we can continue this

if we really insist

in believing that we are only as good as our parents

our boyfriend

our girlfriend

our friends

say we are.

we can continue this

if we really insist

in believing the

dark

twisted

cowardly little voice

that comes to us when we are at our weakest

striking us in the gut

whispering nasty little nothings.

you’re not good enough, I’ve heard it snarl

you’re worthless

you’re nothing.

still

other times

it takes a different approach.

you are an incredible person, it coos

shh, don’t cry out

there’s nothing wrong with you

you don’t need help.

but God is telling us a different story

one that comforts

and confronts

one that attracts

and doesn’t apologize.

some of His story is cozy

but some of it is absolutely crazy

and it’s threatening

because what He’s saying

is that basically

nothing you can ever do

can diminish

or increase

His love for you.

what He’s saying

is that basically

in light of the gospel of His love

nothing you have ever done

really

matters.

He won’t hold it against you.

there’s no past too terrible to forgive and heal

but there’s also not a soul among us

who has earned his approval

on our own

on the little good we have done.

we can’t earn His love

we already have it

it’s been freely given.

God says

you are forgiven

you are worth everything

that He has made you clean

but

He also says

you are not righteous

nothing you have done on your own strength

has ever really

really

impressed Him.

you could not have gotten into heaven on your own

so I guess we have a choice.

it’s a choice between

trusting the new story that God is telling us

versus

trusting the story that others have been telling about us our whole lives

it’s a choice between

trusting that inky, lightless voice

versus

trusting God’s.

let’s choose to let Him soften our hearts

and melt away our unbelief

and distrust

to open us up

to the possibility that nothing else matters

that we can finally be free of ourselves

not because we deserve it

not because of anything we’ve done

but because He loves us

just that much.

-Ryan

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