I am FAAAARRRRR from perfect!! I will was perfect. I never will be perfect and expecting perfection from myself or my spouse sets me up for imminent failure.
My grandfather Poppy, used to say, "there is only one perfect man that ever lived and He died on the cross." Jesus Christ is the only perfect man that ever walked the earth and ever will walk the earth. His power, His love, His strength, His mercy and forgiveness.... is perfection.
My goal as one of His followers is to be "like" Him, knowing, I will never achieve perfection and that my friends...... is a GOOD thing.
Why? Why would God not want us to be perfect? Well... this week I dove into a scripture that about Christ, God in the flesh, understanding the power of humbleness and emptying Himself completely, so He would be able to achieve God's calling on His life.
I have felt empty in my marriage. I have fallen to my knees in utter despair angrily asking God.... "what do you want from me? I cannot do this! I have no strength left!!!" There have been times that the only thing I have strength left to do is crawl in my bed and lay there talking to God until He allows my heart to rest and sleep.
The answer I have received time and time again during these painful episodes... remains the same.... God makes it clear....His desire is for me to empty my heart. Empty every part of me that wants to cling to my will, my desires or my "plan."
I fight it at times. Yes, I do. I blatantly tell God.... "I have done it your way so many times and in the end, I have been hurt! Do you not see this God, do you not care?"
Well, in case you didn't know, God has a response for EVERYTHING!!! And aside from the scripture we are focusing on today, He has given me the following responses....
":Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." Galatians 6:9
"Lord, who may live on your holy hill? he who keeps his oath, even when it hurts." Psalm 15:1,4
I took an oath when I married and sometimes keeping that oath can be extremely painful. But God is promising me..... hold on..... don't grow weary in doing good..... you will reap a harvest when the time is right.
Waiting for the "right" time can be extremely painful and exhausting. During the wait, is often when God is choosing to "empty" your heart and mind of your preconceived ideas of how things should go.
This draws us back to a previous question, why would God not want us perfect?
Because, He is the perfect one and where we are weak, His power is made perfect and visible for the entire world to see.
"But he said to me, My grace is sufficient for you,my power is made perfect in weakness." 2 Corinthians 12:9
During these past six years, I cannot tell you how many times I have felt like I just can't go on. I have pleaded with God to deliver me from the painful situation I was living and though, He did not always remove the situation or circumstance, what He did was empty me of all self sufficiency and personal planning, brought me to a point of complete weakness and a need for total dependence on Him and then replaced my weakness with his perfect power.
I am not going to lie... there were some very ugly times.... times when I literally only had enough strength to take my next breath and live minute to minute... BUT... HE ALWAYS, ALWAYS gave me that strength and very often used some wonderful friends and family in my life to pick me up when I couldn't do it on my own.
In our devotion for this week, Paul tells us we are to have the mind of Christ. The mind of Christ is faithful in believing and resting in God's power, knowing He is able to do far more than we can ever imagine. Jesus knew this and was able to endure the unthinkable because of His faithful belief in God's goodness.
It is easy to think... well yeah... Jesus was God in flesh... of course He was able to endure. BUT... remember... Jesus was also made in the likeness of man, which means He was fully able to feel everything we feel, despair and pain. Jesus knew full well that He WAS God in flesh, but He was so incredibly humble that He never put Himself in equality with God. He was still obedient and submissive to God's plan, even though He had the power to do whatever the heck He wanted. This is a beautiful portrait of true submission and obedience. The have the power, yet, choose not to exercise it in submission to another.... is true humbleness.
We have to power to do our own will at any given time, however, choosing to turn from our own desires and will and fully submit to God's will is mimicking Jesus' s humble heart. Let me be the first to tell you... THIS OFTEN WILL TAKE GOD'S POWER! I have fought against doing God's will in my marriage more times than I care to admit and sometimes, from the outside my plan or desire appears like the "logical" and "right" thing to do, however, when I take the time to way my desire against God's word, I often find my thinking is wrong.
Marriage will often ask much of your heart and soul. Sometimes, you will have to give and sacrifice way more than you are given in return and it is easy to grow weary and bitter, however, rest in the promise that God will empty you of all the entangled darkness your heart is wrestling with and fill it with something perfect.... His power.
I COULD not and CANNOT do this marriage thing without my Jesus. I can't. It's that simple. And let me be maybe the first to tell you....more than likely.... you can't either.
Peace and Blessings