The result was oozing, self-defeating guilt. (And knowing that I could never measure up, I eventually decided, “Why bother?” and turned my back on God and the church for about a decade.)
Today, well, I’m no theologian, but I have come to understand that God (in God’s own words, thank you) loves me, as I am, flaws and all. I’ve also come to the conclusion that I’m special, very special, if only because God does love me. Most of all, no matter how badly I screw up, that love does not change. As for forgiveness, all I have to do is ask (sincerely, yes, but just ask) just once, and not plead and beg and crawl on my knees through broken glass in abject misery the next ten years. Ask and I am forgiven. Period.
My point: Anyone who really knows God knows that He is not a mean slave driver. In fact, He is rather easy to please, and He does not ask or demand or threaten that we crucify ourselves to please Him. (His Son already did that, and that was/is good enough for all of us … even the likes of me.) He doesn’t even demand that we be good (though He certainly asks that we try). All we have to do is believe. So, if you believe, just go out and have a giggly, joy-filled day. That’s good enough, and so are you.
“Jesus told them, ‘This is the only work
God wants from you : Believe in the one
he has sent.’”
For me, joy is not a natural state. Or if it is, I have managed to suppress it for decades. I tend to wonder when the other shoe will drop or when God-the-Judge will catch me in a screw-up and crack me across the knuckles or back of the head with a ruler. But then I try to remember Susan’s unofficial mantra: “It’s all good.” (And this from a woman who has seen more than her share of losses and suffering.) So, I am starting to figure out that it is all good, and that even the toughest times are truly blessings, even though not perhaps recognizable at the time. So, have a joy-filled day and remember that God loves you … always.
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