Ever have those times when all at once a million thoughts starting racing and wreaking havoc, vying for your attention? You desperately try to sort though them all, connecting the dots, following the trails, fitting them nearly together? Yeah, me too.
My heart and mind have been so full, and continuing to fill with I’m not sure what, and I can’t seem to sort through them. The love of God, “introverts,” authenticity, sufficiency of Christ, elections….pieces of the abyss of endless trains of thoughts that don’t stop at stations to take breathes.
But I think….I think I’ll try to sort through it with you if you’ll bear with me.
As I’ve mentioned before, one of my biggest struggles is the belief that God truly loves me. My head and my heart live in the tension of this truth. Of course, Valentine’s Day brought on many thoughts of this. With the thought of the love of God comes the idea of what the opposite is: fear.
Fear. My nemesis.
How often do I let fear control me? And then let that fear overcome love….embracing God’s love for me and loving God with all of my being. I cannot fear and love at the same time. That’s what 1 John tells me.
This train of thought then led me down the path of what it means to embrace God’s love for me. To find my sufficiency in Christ. I can talk the talk, but can I walk the walk? What does it even mean to walk that walk?
If I say I love God, but I keep it all inside, do I really love God? God says if we love Him, we will love others. In fact, that is how I show my love for God….by loving others.
This led to the train of thought of how easy it is to keep my “Christianity,” my “beliefs,” to myself. Make it so introspective. Make it about me. How I experience God, how I deal with my inner struggles. How I say and feel no one understands me, I just have to deal with my own inner darkness, or I lock myself away and have “alone time” with God. Much of that is great, even necessary, but do I just leave it there? I can say all I want how personal my relationship with God is, Instagram my quiet time, brood over my struggles, but if I’m not extending it beyond that, do I really find Christ sufficient? Or am I fearing being open and transparent?
Am I fearing to love my family in Christ, this fearing to love God publicly?
This train then led me to just realize how fearful we really are whether we would like to admit it or not. We’re ok with being weird, being unique, being trendy, trying to be our own persons, hold on to our identities, play it safe while seeming risky, not wanting anything to rock the boat…..or just anything that will make us uncomfortable.
Well guess what? Finding Christ sufficient–embracing the love of God–is uncomfortable.
It may mean losing what we find our identity in, what makes us unique, loving people who will never love back, having hard conversations, being courageous to do the hard right things, being uncool, living in a country that doesn’t pander to my comfort and beliefs, living in a culture that is wicked.
It may mean we find out, when put to the fire, we really don’t find Christ sufficient even when we say we do.
I can say until my face is blue I find Him sufficient, but when I get upset when my kingdom is rocked, or I’m uncomfortable where I live (country or otherwise), or I’m embarrassed because of doing some “Christian,” or I chose to hide myself away from others for fear they will hurt me or “can’t understand me”……I lie in God’s face.
My question to myself is why am I hiding?
Do I find Him sufficient enough to look my fear in the face and love Him with every ounce of my being, letting that love pour out of every pour, no matter how risky, weird, uncomfortable, painful, uncool it is? Do I find Him sufficient enough to stop keeping Him to myself and give myself to those around me who are hurting just as much as I am?
I know there may seem cooler things out there. There are scary things out here. Humiliation is at risk. Questions I can’t answer yet are looming.
But is Christ sufficient enough?
If others can’t tell, what is the point?
Dare I say it? But who cares if our country is “going to hell in a hand basket”? Isn’t Christ sufficient enough to stop being so scared and just tell people about Jesus. It’s what other Christians do in other countries. Do we say God doesn’t love them still? They may incredibly more authentic than we ever hope to be. They’re fighting for truth because it actually matters to them. They already find Christ sufficient.
These are trains in my head, in my heart. I’m still working on reconciling them. I may never. But I know God can. I just it step by step to allow love to cast out fear. Fear of Him, fear of others.
I must love, not fear, to find Christ sufficient, and help other find Him sufficient too. Souls depend on it.