Oh yes. We Christians are very good at the "pat answer" - you know, the ones we picked up in Sunday School and hang onto (and come out with) when we're not sure what to say. I had a conversation with a woman this week that absolutely floored me. She had been through the most unbelievable time over the past two years, and I found myself not able to come to grips (at all!!!) over what she had been through and how she must have felt. So confounded by it all, and not wanting to show my complete shock of the situation, I began to form some very "pat answers" in the back of my mind.
Thank God that I didn't say any of them. The tears began to form in my eyes and I reached out and hugged this woman and told her I thought she was amazing. She let it flow then. She told me of the rollercoaster of emotions, the difficulties she faced in so many areas - but when she was done with that, she ever so humbly and gently said "I would not be standing here, if it weren't for my God. He held me through those times like a baby. I have never felt more loved and more secure. Ever!"
She didn't gloss it up with big word and sentiments for God. She painted a very simple picture of a God who was always there for her - even when so many others turned their back - and was her rock, her strength.
I came away challenged to be more vulnerable, more real about my life and the way I lean on God and look to Him - admittedly not a very regular thing - but an area I am challenged about. I don't want to be one of these people who are avoided because they appear to be so together. ( Mind you, this is actually so far from the truth, it makes me want to laugh!) I want my whole life to say "Thankyou God for loving me" and I want it to show throughout my life experiences, that I KNOW He does love me - even if I have no idea what I'm doing and feel like a failure.
I have felt like this so many times. I feel like a failure as a Christian if I don't have a quiet time every day, I feel like a failure many times as a mother and a wife, as a sister, a friend, a daughter, an aunt (the list goes on and on) - but my hope is in Jesus. Despite me, and all my best efforts to stuff up - He is undeniably loving, forgiving, and full of grace towards me.
Let my lifesong sing......