Exodus 34:6: “The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness,
In the past when I have really screwed up, and I knew that I couldn’t change through my own strength, the most logical step would be to go to God and ask for His help. However, I can’t tell you how many times I would run in the opposite direction instead. I was usually so frustrated, fed up, or ashamed with myself that instead of turning to the One person who could give me comfort and honestly help me change my behavior, I turned away. Why is that?
Why did I feel the need to make myself perfect, fix my mistakes, or correct my bad behavior on my own? Instead of standing in front of the One that can make all things new and admitting my mistake, I felt the need to “fix myself,” believing that I wasn’t good enough to stand before the One who is perfect.
However, my thinking couldn’t have been further from the truth. You see, God wants me to come before Him with all my mistakes. In fact, He goes one step further. In Psalm 34:18, it says, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” You see, God wants us (you, me, the cashier at Meijer) to come to Him as we are. He doesn’t need or want us to “fix ourselves up” in order to stand before Him and ask for help.
Another way to look at this is through the eyes of a child. Some children will quickly confess a wrongdoing. His parent will get the whole version of what happened, why it happened, how it shouldn’t have happened, and who else it happened too. Usually, this child has been in trouble quite often and realizes that the punishment will be less (or even sometimes nonexistent) if the truth is told upfront and responsibility is taken.
Other children are more like me. She would rather hide her sin, stay under the radar. This child hopes her parents won’t notice that the chocolate cake has a rather big hole missing, the lampshade is tilted at a very odd angle, or the kitchen floor really should have red spots dotted all around (interestingly the same shade as the family’s Kool-Aid).
God wants us all to be more like the first child. He wants us to come to Him with confidence, ready to admit that we’re wrong, ready to ask forgiveness, and ready for His advice to get out of this tangled web that we somehow got ourselves into.
What is your preferred style when you find yourself in situations that are messier than you originally thought? Do you reach out for God’s offered hand, or you do try to climb out yourself? From my experience, it’s a lot more peaceful and a lot more effective to take His hand, sooner rather than later.