Last night I sat in bed praying about being able to let go of my fears, my worries and my doubts about being good. I doubt that I am good every single day.
Silly. I know.
I grew up feeling I was not good. Unworthy. Unlovable. Unlikable.
Christmas time would roll around...Santa doesn't bring presents to naughty girls.
Please, PLEASE, let me be good.
I would visit Jesus next door.
Yes, Jesus lived next door to ME.
My neighbors had a manger set. Wooden, painted. Not the three dimensional light-up ones they have now.
The faces were regal, friendly. There were the three wise men, with their fancy robes and golden crowns. I would ask if I could wear them, but the camel aways tried to spit on me. I was too fast of course, but I always tried to get near the wise men but those camels...
I liked the donkey better, he'd let me in the manger. That was where Mary and Joseph were. That was where baby Jesus was. Mary would let me hold Jesus. I could rock him and tell him things. Even as a baby he had these eyes. Like they could see right through me, and know my hearts desire. Of course I would tell him what I wanted for Christmas and that I was a good girl.
I would feed the sheep, and brush away any snow that had collected, except by the camels it kept them from trying to spit at me. I laughed at the icicles that would form by their mouths. That's what you get you mean camels!
I would spend hours playing I that manger, talking to Jesus, Mary and even Joseph.
I would cry when Christmas was over and the manger would get put away. Why couldn't I have Jesus next door to me everyday?
Today, I am older. I don't live in that neighborhood anymore. I still visit though once a year. Time has faded the paint, but hasn't faded my excitement and longing to see Jesus.
I wish time would fade the fears. Fade the doubts. They are like internal tattoos. Like inked barbed wire bands that scar my heart. Nobody can see them, but I know it's there. I felt it when it was given to me. Just like I felt the one on my back being put on. Do you know what is on my back? Have I ever shared with you my tattoo? My name Sara, meaning princess. I got the Chinese symbol for princess on my lower back, right in the middle. Which to my horror, is now called the "tramp stamp" area. Aghhhh.
I never wanted a tattoo. Howie had several, on his arms. I asked why they were so big and Judy once told me he had to have "something covered up." The are greenish and ugly. He was in the Navy. I guess that is what they did in the Navy. My sister has several. Cheesy ones. (By cheesy I mean NOT original, not unique in any way.) Plus, there is the pain factor, why in the world would you PAY someone to stick you with a needle a gazillion times?
Then I hit my twenties and for some reason I thought getting a little "symbol" would ease the pain of feeling so gall darn invisible! Maybe somebody would SEE me, or at least my tattoo.
It never did give my the satisfaction I had hoped for.
Nothing did, until I came to Jesus. When I was a little girl, I went to him everyday. I told him I would try harder to be good. I failed, I sinned. He might not be in the manger, next door waiting for me, but He IS waiting for me still. Waiting to make all things new. Waiting to lay his grace upon my shoulders like a blanket.
Sitting in your presence. Comforted by your words. Your promises.
Challenged to be obedient.
When doubt creeps in, let me wrap myself up in you.
When stress rages let me draw in the the breath of peace.
When tears fall, let your gentle healing hands wipe them away.
I am good.
I am meek.
I am worthy of your love.
For when I tried to keep the law, it condemned me. So I died to the law-I stopped trying to meet all the requirements-so that I might live for God.
My old self had been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless. For if keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die.
Galatians 2:19-21 (new living translation)
I love that line: I stopped trying to meet all the requirements-so that I might live for God.
What requirements are you trying to meet?
God's grace is that blanket on the bench, waiting for us to throw in over our shoulders, to rest in His grace, cover ourselves with HIM.
To cover our sin and accept his grace. I am good because he covered me with his grace.