“I have seen his ways, and will heal him; I will also lead him, And restore comforts to him And to his mourners.”
This is kind of an incredible verse!
Here God is saying He has seen my ways — all my ways. Even the not-so-great ones. But instead of washing His hands of me He tells me He will heal me. Because I’m broken. My wandering ways are a result of my brokenness, and God not only acknowledges that, but He takes the brokenness and says “I am going to heal it”.
He doesn’t just say He’s had enough of me or my mistakes and failures. He heals me. He leads me. He restores me.
God is ready to take the broken, shattered pieces of my faults, my failures, my mistakes, and put them together. Once I realize that and finally let go of the pieces He Will put me together so that His Love and His Light can dwell in me and others can see that light in the cracks that make up my vessel.
So I lay down my pieces. I am done trying to put them together myself in all the wrong ways. How about you?
Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
— Colossians 3:12-17
This passage really could not have come at a better time. The preparation week of Lent is coming to an end, and fully-fledged Lent is upon us. It is now the time to put our proverbial money where our mouths are and make a real change in how we are living our lives. I decided to take this passage and break it down, virtue by virtue and self-reflect, and I would encourage you to do the same. Here we go:
Tender mercies: not just mercy, but tender mercy; that’s a whole other level of mercy. Have I been merciful to those around me? Or do I get frustrated with others, refusing to let go of their faults and refusing to give the benefit of the doubt?
Kindness: do I show kindness to others around me? And when I do where is it coming from? Is it coming from the little that I have or does it stem from the kindness that I am receiving from God?
Humility: this is a biggie. What am I focusing my life around? Is it all about me or is it about those around me? Am I doing or saying things to keep attention focused on me? What are the intentions behind my actions and words?
Meekness: I don’t think we always know what being meek means, but it goes along with the theme of the rest of this passage. Am I gentle with those around me? Am I soft and calm? Or am I boisterous and loud and saying whatever pops in my head without regard for the consequences?
Longsuffering: Am I patient with the people in my life? How about with God? Do I allow Him time to work in my life or do I decide to take matters in my own hands? Do I live my life in the “my way or the highway” mentality or do I leave room for God to do His work on His time?
Bearing with one another, and forgiving one another: similar to the attributes above, how am I dealing with people I interact with? Do I forgive or do I insist on holding onto grudges and what I think is owed to me? Do I bear with those who feel like a thorn in my side?
I will be honest with those of you out there reading this, I have not been the best at basically any of these things lately. I haven’t been putting on love like Paul calls for us to do.
But that’s the beauty of this season! It’s another opportunity for a fresh start, to put on love, to be ruled by the peace of God, to be filled with the word of God.
Instead of being ruled by our passions and pride and selfishness and insecurities, let’s choose to be ruled by the peace of God.
Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward.
For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise
— Hebrews 10:35-36
So I’ve been struggling quite a bit the last few months. The last few months have been filled with doubts and insecurities and disappointments…basically the opposite of confidence and endurance. I have depended so much on myself and on the hope I tried placing in others. So naturally I was let down. Repeatedly.
To be honest, things have really stunk lately. I have been riding an emotional roller coaster — no stability, nauseating, and filled with a lot more downs that ups. And for what? For nothing. I cast away my confidence in God and in His love and care for me, and I tried to depend on myself instead. What did I gain from that? Nothing but heartache. Nothing but misery.
I lost my confidence. I lost my endurance. If I’m really being honest, I lost my faith in God’s grace. No reward. No promise. Only bitterness and hurt. That’s what resulted.
Can anyone else relate to this? Lord, I hope not, but also kind of hope so.
But you know what? I’m done. I’m done trying to do things on my own. I’m done seeking after things that mean nothing if I’m not rooted in Christ to begin with. No more running after nonsense. It’s time to get back to where I need to be, where my soul will finally be at peace once more, where self-doubt will turn into love for who God created me to be.
I hope if you are struggling with self-worth, if you are struggling to find meaning or are just filled with hurt and doubts, that you will join me this Lenten season to throw all that out so we can fill ourselves with the thirst-quenching Living Water.
May we remember that the Holy Spirit is He who is in us. May we remember that we are the Father’s royal children. May we remember that we are the beloved of the Son.
Now is not the time to give up on hope. Now is the time to renew our confidence, to increase our endurance, and to prepare to receive the promises we have been given.