Obey

Sleep is still something I do not desire.

When Brenden gets off the couch and sits down on the floor next to me, I wonder why he goes through with the effort. I wonder why we are friends, how we got along in the first place, what about me makes him treat me so well, etc. I want to cry when he sits there beside me, talking to me, goofing off with me [my nose is tingling, my throat is closing] because all I can think about is I am not worthy. I am not witty, fun, outgoing, warm, etc. I am not all those things that everyone is to me.

[He has such a good heart] What kind of person am I that I pick and choose friends? What kind of person am I that I am willing to throw people away? What kind of person am I that still somehow people are willing to invest time and energy in me, even when I have been distant, cold, silent in our friendship? What do they see in me?

I hope the answer is Jesus. I hope they see nothing but Jesus.

He is the only thing worthy about me.

It hurt the crap out of me when we stopped talking. I didn’t even realize it until we started talking again and then I thought, “Why did I ever allow myself to get so close, why did I ever allow myself to be so hurt? I can’t do this anymore.”

This is why I guard my heart. This is why I am careful in relationships. This is why I maintain distance, why I try to be cold, why I run away.

I, I, I, I, I.

Where is Jesus?

They try to avoid getting hurt and I find myself choking back screams. I want to yell at them, shake them, cry and wail. I can’t understand their pain but I know of pain, I know of suffering, I know of hurt and wounds and scars. I know of wanting to protect myself. But, I love myself too much, I care for no one enough, I keep forgetting the cross. I am a hypocrite.

Yes, it’s natural to want to protect yourself. Yes, it’s probably even very smart. It’d be foolish to throw yourself into relationships, open up to people who could very well stab you in the back, give and never get anything in return, etc. Yes, it is pure stupidity to walk into a situation where you see yourself getting hurt, why not just stay far away in the distance, safe and whole?

But, God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise (1 Corinthians 1:27)

It’s backwards in God’s eyes.

Look at Jesus. He knew he was going to be betrayed, he knew he was going to be mocked and ridiculed, he knew he was going to get hurt, he knew he was going to die. On that lonely cross, all by Himself, with no one to stand by Him, not even His own Father. He knew Peter would deny Him, He knew Judas would turn Him over, He knew people wouldn’t believe in Him.

He. Went. Anyway.

He went. He tired. He lost. He hurt. He suffered. He scarred. He heart broke. He died.

He rose.

[and acquired salvation for all of us]

[Jesus didn’t want to die]

The world is not about you. Your life is not even about you. That’s the reality when you call yourself a Christian. You deny your right to yourself. Matthew 16:24. If God calls you into a situation that could potentially hurt you, you go. Every time you say you will not go, you hurt Him. You tell Him, “I do not trust you, I do not trust you to protect me or heal me or be there to comfort me”. You push Him aside, you put yourself above Him. You’re hurting Him.

Listen and obey.

You obey, you bear fruit, you give glory to God. And you reap so, so many blessings as a result. But, most of all, you receive Him. (Psalm 34:18) He is all you ever wanted, He is nothing you deserve, He is worthy of all things, He is worth it.

He is worth everything.

He’s not trying to hurt you. He’s not telling you to get hurt. He’s telling you to trust Him, to listen to His encouragement to persevere, to submit your will to His, knowing that His wisdom far surpasses yours and that He has good plans for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).

He knows what’s up, He knows what’s best, He loves you.

He loves you, and oh, God, how I pray that you would know that.

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