I’ve been reading Tim Keller’s The Reason for God. Honestly, I rolled through 2/3 of the book. I thought, “Wow, this makes sense. Wow this is good.” I’m at the bottom 1/3 of the book, and it’s kicking my butt. Hard. I mean, I’m bruised.
I feel like a veil has been removed from my eyes pertaining to me. Stuff I knew subconsciously has been revealed in a very real way to me over the past 48 hours. I don’t have enough time to write it all here…but I’m going to highlight a few things.
I am a prideful person. Instead of trusting God, I want to do things on my own. Sometimes, I think that I can do things better than He can. This trust in myself puts me in the same category as Lucifer. He was kicked out of heaven when he exalted himself over God.
I succumb easily to idolatry. I find my value in what I do. I find my value in who I am. I find my value in my friends, family. This is all idolatry. I must shift my focus from finding my value in all of those things (and others) to finding my value in what God has done for me. Once that shift happens, I will be less susceptible to vascillations in mood due to circumstances. No matter whether I’m on top of the world, surrounded by friends, or alone in the depths of a pit of hell, I can remain calm, knowing that God is the One from whom I derive my identity, not my circumstances.
That being said, I have a horrible time accepting God’s grace, and the grace of others. I know that God is a loving, forgiving God. I can believe that for everyone else in the world. But for me…I’m always waiting for Him to kick my butt. I know that if I repent of my sin–even of pride–that He is faithful to forgive me. The root of this is that I have always been more critical of myself than anyone else.
Today I went to church. I went to The Sanctuary. It’s been a while. I sat in the parking lot seriously considering whether or not I would enter. When I went in, I was literally shaking. I didn’t know whether everyone would want to talk to me, or if I would be utterly rejected. What happened shook me to my core. I was not only welcomed, I was embraced. People were excited–genuinely–to see me. Not only did God show his grace, a group of people showed their grace. It was unlike anything I’ve experienced. I felt like the prodigal daughter.
I think I’ll go back to visit.