as an introvert who prefers home life, i was wondering how this was going to be achieved. to me, it seems like the only way to get rest and peace is to bunker down in my home and shut out the world. at the conference there would be lots of women everywhere, i would want to catch up with so and so. the weekend would be full it seemed. the schedule was right there. speaker, break, after party, speaker, break, small group time, and over and over. schedules like that stress me out a little. where's the hide in a cave and hermit time?
so i sat there and listened. i listened to the Gospel. you're thinking, the gospel? you know the gospel...you're a christian.
no, i'd forgotten the gospel. i forget it so often.
elyse fitzpatrick reminds me,
the war is to remember jesus!
(enjoy my misspellings)
i am tired in my soul. very weary in my heart and mind. they have been wooed by self worth found in other things. little things. i'm tired from running to them and then running away from them. i'm exhausted from making sure i never get caught being rotten. and anxious. and busy. and jealous. and prideful. these that promised to give me life, drained it all out of me.
and i found myself sprinting through life chasing rest like i have a pattern of doing. i just want rest. even yelling to my husband, i just want to sleep in a dark cave for 3 months and then i'll be ok.
do you hear yourself in me? if i just had FILL IN THE BLANK, i would be ok.
but you don't have it and you chase it relentlessly until you're exhausted and disappointed and perhaps despairing like me.
and so there is elyse preaching the truth.
you are rotten. you have broken the only 2 laws that you were asked to keep...to love God with all your heart, mind, and strength and to love your neighbor as yourself. you haven't kept either, have you?
i mean i try, but i'm not good at it. even on my very best days.
i hear the truth that it has to be this way. the law shows us our sin so that we can be pointed to the one who made a substitute for us. as believers we are hidden in christ so that when God sees us He sees the one who lived a perfect life. who was not jealous, did not worship other idols, was not prideful, was not anxious. even as a child and teenager and adult. he sees that guy, not me.
well what a breath of fresh air. i need not try to be perfect and carry these burdens of my sin.
chasing physical rest when my soul needed to rest in the God who approves of me, loves me, and has overlooked my offenses through christ. his love compels me to obey him, not keeping rules and staying out of trouble.
loooooooong sigh. i had forgotten that. suffering from spiritual amnesia as elyse put it.
and it made me so tired.
she told the story of the woman (most likely a prostitute) who ran into a pharisee's house to see jesus and washed his dirty feet with her tears. then she wiped them off with with her hair. kissing his feet. Jesus loves the kisses of sinners. i cried...that's really good news for me, i thought. it's what i had felt like all along: a prostitute whoring around after so many things. i had been caught!
but i knew those feet brought good news. i needed those feet to carry me out of this mess i had made.
so i walked into that conference, feet weary with a giant back pack of bricks and Jesus carried me right out the doors in peace. hearing and remembering the good news. it is not just how you get into heaven, it is eternal LIFE. meaning, right now and forever. the resurrection intersecting my parenting and my marriage, my business, my friendships. what does the resurrection have to do with those things? they don't tell me who i am because God sees me as perfect through Jesus. his death says that i don't need their approval. i don't have to use them to give me identity and can instead just enjoy them. i don't need their thank you's and way to go's! or their good behavior to make me look good. because the creator of the universe has said that i am cherished and loved and perfect.
praise Jesus for the Gospel. what good news for this weary human!
if you are looking for good books to read, check out elyse fitzpatrick's amazing, life giving books.