Most of us spend a lot of time on our work. Whether that work is school, parenting, a career, running a home, or any combination of the four, we spend a lot of time on it. With all the time we spend working, striving, trying to do our work well, it’s easy to forget that our worth is not based upon our work.
Our true worth and identity can not be found in our work or our roles, whatever they are. Our true identity is in who we are with God, alone. Who we are is: redeemed, beloved, precious children. God is abundant and God’s love and grace are bigger than anything we encounter. Bigger than our failures and missteps and obstacles. All our lack is sufficiently covered. We can sink into that and be still. We can believe always. Even when it’s not going how we hoped or thought or wanted. Even when we don’t know what’s going to happen. Even when we don’t have enough, are not enough. God is enough, God has enough. God is abundant. God is home.
It’s easy to tie the idea of our value up in our job performance or title, the money we make or have saved, the way we parent, the kind of friend we are, how our homes or bodies look and work. But if that’s where our worth lies, then those things have become our idols. Our true value is unchanging in the eyes of God’s love, mercy, and grace. We aren’t supposed to do any of this alone, we can only do anything through Christ’s strength in us, through the Holy Spirit’s movement.
Surrendering your life to belief is a terrifying relief. If you’ve spent a lot of time and energy trying to control your life, and your circumstances, and the people around you, and the all possibilities, and the all outcomes, and everything ever – then to surrender it feels like both the craziest and the best thing you could ever do. To let it all go almost takes a miracle. Sometimes, it does. Sometimes that miracle looks like a tragedy, a loss, a breakdown, a burnout, a life-shift. Sometimes, the only thing that gets us to let go of all the things we’re holding on to is to have them ripped right from our stingy fingers. And then, when our palms are lifted up to heaven, that abundant grace rains down and we finally get a taste of a different kind of life, and it is sweet healing water to a parched broken soul.
To just believe, in the midst of all the mess, to practice gratitude and love and faith and hope and kindness and generosity in the midst of a life you can’t control – this is what it means to live differently. The external life might not look all that crazy different at first – maybe it does – but maybe it’s more a new internal way of living that has us making one new choice upon another. Those new choices slowly shape a new life, burn a new light, and all of the sudden the darkness is a place in which you shine, not a place in which you find yourself lost.
The weight of the life you couldn’t manage on your own dissolves amidst the strength of a life you aren’t doing alone.
The war for our souls is much less about politics and policies and much more about the way we live our daily lives.
The culture war that we should be most concerned about fighting is the one that tells us that our value, purpose, and worth lie in building lives that are free from need or discomfort – because we find those to be indicators of failure – failure to prepare, to work hard, to be a good person, etc.
What if being needy was the status quo? Because it is.
We are designed to be needy, always. We are designed to live in weakness that boasts Christ’s strength, mercy, and love in our lives. We should not be striving to be above and beyond help or need. We are tricked into thinking that material things can protect us and provide for us and we stop remembering that we depend on Christ alone for protection and provision.
What if being uncomfortable was a sign of being stretched, thoughtful, and open-hearted?
We are so concerned with our own comfort and safety that we turn away opportunities to love others well because it would require that we interrupt our lives or that we sacrifice something more than a few dollars or a few hours. We are so rarely willing to get our hands, our hearts, or our homes dirty with the lives of others, constantly defensive of losing what we have.
What if we worried less about what we have in our lives, and more about what we do with our lives?
What if instead of assuming the worst, we considered the best?
What if we didn’t see need as failure, but as an opportunity to practice our faith?
What if we stopped living the life we were told would be good enough and started taking trust falls of faith into a life that is abundant with the promises of God?
What if that strange little thought that keeps coming up for air, that idea that there’s more to life than the life you’re living, what if it was right?
What if you just believed in more? More love, more light, more truth, more grace, more mercy, more opportunities, more breath, more space, more miracles, more promise, more hope, more freedom, more rest?
What if everything you’re aching for is out there just waiting for you to let go of the try-hard life and waiting for you to open up your hands and take the life abundant you have been promised?
What if, my friend, what if?