You remember what it was like on the playground as a kid to be the one that felt left out or left behind? It happens to all of us. Maybe you tried out for a team and didn't make it. Or a show and weren't cast.
I remember one time in college I auditioned for a Shakespearan play and didn't get a part. I just "didn't fit"...
Now that I've directed shows, I understand what that means...but at the time, all I heard was "Cain't sit here."
Only there was no "Jenny" to make room for me.
It's not the best feeling. And lately, I've felt this way.
I know I've chronicled some of the issues we've had, mostly with things breaking or not working or not turning out the way they're supposed to. From the cars (both of them) to the plumbing in the house to last week's loss of my computer...it really has been neverending.
And my first thought was "God, what am I doing wrong?"
I spent most of the weekend trying to figure out what it was that I hadn't done right. I haven't overcome my cynicism. I don't trust easily. I worry too much... there is a long list...
"God, is this why I'm being punished?"
This is the way I've always viewed God, like his love is something to be earned...and while I know in my head that he loves me, I still feel like I have to work to prove that I'm worthy of that love.
So I work. And I do. And I strive. And I see no change.
Something else breaks. Another issue. Another problem. And I wonder who I have to pay to make Murphy's long take a sharp turn to the left...away from us for Pete's sake.
And all the while I'm praying those thrown up to heaven kind of prayers... mostly they're short and sweet and consist of "Help me, Jesus..." and then I wonder why I see no results.
So yesterday I got it all out. I just needed a word from God. I needed to know that He hadn't forgotten me...even though it might've seemed to him in the last couple of months that it had been the other way around.
But God doesn't hold grudges and he didn't want to "prove a point" or "be the one who was right" like I sometimes do.
He simply drew me in...led me here...Hosea 6.
It was all written just for me in this moment and I knew it.
Even the part at the beginning about him injuring us and now he can bandage our wounds seemed to speak to me...because while I don't believe God inflicts harm, I do think he can use it to teach us...
What do you want me to learn?
I kept reading until I stumbled upon verse 6. I wasn't reading my normal New King James Bible. For some unknown reason, I picked up a New Living translation. It says:
"I want you to show love; not offer sacrifices.
I want you to know me; more than I want burnt offerings."
I want you to know me.
The words melted right into my heart.
Do I know Him? Am I too caught up trying to do things for him that I've forgotten to know his heart? He doesn't want our works...he wants our love...he wants us to stop trying to DO so much and start resting in Him.
Are you trying to do it all? Trying to fix what's broken on your own without taking it to the foot of the cross? What if today you lay it all down and simply rest? What if you strive to show love rather than strive to do more?