(Originally published 8/26/13)
Last Sunday they showed this video at my church:
I’m not trying to promote Celebrate Recovery because I’m not sure exactly what it’s about or if I’ll go, though my church is offering it. I just really liked the video itself. There’s a lot of truth there.
We sure do love our stuff. And it is very hard to let go of. I myself carry a lot around with me. Worry and anxiety are chief, followed closely by grudges and insecurities. And it’s so true that these are things I have to let go of on a daily bases. Usually multiple times a day. And a lot of the time, that makes me feel that either I’m doing something wrong, or that there is something wrong with me.
We live in an instantly gratifying culture. We’re so used to getting what we want when we want it that when it takes an extra minute or two at the ATM, some of us (myself very much included) even get indignant. As far as self improvement goes, you only have to glance at the self-help section of the book store to see title’s like ‘A New You by Friday,’ ‘Change Your Life in Seven Days,’ or ‘How to Heal a Broken Heart in 30 Days.’ But the sad truth of the matter is that life changes, especially big ones, take time. It’s unrealistic to imagine years of thought patterns and habits will disappear in a fortnight and yet that is so often what we expect.
Anything worth having is worth working for, and that includes the freedom of an intimate walk with Christ. And the beautiful part of the Christian walk is that God has already done all the work for us. He has already won the battle and we already have ‘Everything we need for a godly life’ (2 Peter 1:3). The old fleshly man has been crucified with Christ and all we have to do is walk in the freedom and grace of the Holy Spirit living through is.
That isn’t so tough, is it? Ok, so maybe it’s a daily struggle for you like it is for me. But what a worthwhile goal we’re reaching for.
If you are anything like me, you will lay your burdens down at the foot of the cross, exhale a sigh of relief, and five minutes later, take them back again. It’s a constant back and forth, give and take, motion. Kind of like tug-of-war only God will not grab your burdens from you. He’ll only take them if you ask Him to. And He’ll give them back if you ask Him to. The good news is that as in any activity or exorcise, practice makes perfect and the more you trust God, the stronger your faith muscles will grow.
So maybe you were only able to lay that burden down for six minutes yesterday before you took it back, but today it was seven minutes. Even if you backslide back to five minutes, God has grace for that and if you keep pressing into Him, He will keep giving you the strength you need until one day, you have laid your burden down for good.
So keep fighting the good fight! I know it’s hard and it can get downright exhausting (Believe me, I know). But God has promised to help us with this and it pleases Him when we trust Him with our problems. He wants us to come to Him, even if we have to keep coming to Him. He will keep ‘raising us up on wings as eagles,’ strengthening and refreshing us. His grace is sufficient for us, so all we need to do is trust Him and walk in it.