Getting Real. Right Now.
A new year, new goals, new hopes, new dreams; new, new, new. But, before we can grow and start something new we have got to assess who we are right now. We need to see where the starting line is. We need to do a soul check. Getting real about who we are means we have got to go to our Creator for that real answer. John 1:1 says that “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Jesus always has and always will exist. Believing this means that we believe that what the Bible, the Word, says is what is real. So, here is what the Bible says is real about you, his child:
- Whether you feel like it or not, “You are respectfully and wonderfully made.” Psalm 139:14 NIV
- “It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.” Ephesians 1:11-12 MSG
- You are loved. God wants you to know “how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:17-19 NIV
Now, I believe all of the above to be the real, honest truth because I believe that the Bible is the one and only Word of God. But! I certainly don’t feel that way about myself on an hourly basis. My days are full of, “Yes! This is a great day!” to an hour later asking God what on earth is happening, to the next hour, questioning that anything that I’ve done that day was meaningful, to lying awake at night re-playing all the ways that I royally messed up that day. So basically, I’m human, and I and we need to do a daily soul check. Paul, the writer of the book of Ephesians, explains how huge God’s love is for us, and in another one of his letters shares that he has a huge struggle, a thorn, that will not go away. Just like us, the writer of 13 of the books in the New Testament struggled and doubted and dealt with major hardships and anger and frustrations on a regular basis. He cried out to God regarding these struggles and God’s answer was this, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” To which Paul’s answer was to “delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
Delight in weakness? Delight in hardship? Why would we want to do that? Here’s where the soul check comes in. This is where we need to get real with our current situation in life and OWN what we are going through; OWN our mess, and whether we caused it or not, owning our mess is the beginning of new hope. It’s the beginning of a new dream. It’s the beginning of a new life. Are you looking for a fresh start during this fresh year? OWN where you’re at right this minute; right the heck now. After we’ve done that we can hourly, give all that mess up to God. We can admit we need Him, admit that we cannot do it on our own. Proclaim that we are going to delight in our stuff ONLY because we believe that it will bring us closer to our Savior and be stronger in our reliance on Him, and when we grow in relationship with Jesus and put our trust in the fact that He WILL guide us and provide for us in His time, we will begin to see that there is goodness that will come from the struggle. And when we are on the other side of whatever it is we are dealing with, we will have the beauty that hindsight provides. We will be able to look back and breathe a sigh of “thank you Jesus” that you got me through that and provided a path to the other side, and we will trust that when the next challenge comes (cause we know it will) that you God, will provide again.
That’s what’s real. God provides. God IS REAL. Yesterday, tomorrow, and right now.