Do you ever notice yourself doing something over and over that isn’t helpful? I do. I can know better and even realize I’m off course WHILE it’s happening, but not be able to stop. It feels like it’s happening in slow motion and I still can’t stop it – like a bad dream when I can’t run. What’s wrong with me? I wonder. Why can’t I do what I know I need to?
If this goes on for any length of time, I get discouraged. “Obviously you’re incapable of making changes for the better,” a voice says. The accuser’s always ready to pile it on. “It’s so simple. If you’re not making it happen, you must not really want to change,” or, “It’s too bad you have such big dreams and high goals. You aren’t built for any of that.” Yes, he’s a jerk. If these things are popping up in your head, please know the devil’s the author. What he says that hurts most is probably this: “You’re so bad, you can’t expect people to stay with you. You no longer deserve anyone’s love and if you let them see this you will end up all alone. Hide.”
If we believe the liar, we do what Adam and Eve did. God already knows, so we avoid Him completely. People may not know yet, so we present to them a fig leaf version of ourselves that covers up what we think they can’t stomach.
But we don’t have to believe him. We can counter his lies with truth. “I’m absolutely having a hard time right now AND God loves me when I struggle. He’s helping me and nothing’s too big for Him.” From here, you can go to God (your source of help) and open up to safe people in your life (a source of support). This is how we were designed to succeed and that’s exactly why Satan tries to isolate us.
Do you remember before you knew how to tie your shoes and a grown-up would bend over and do it for you? Sometimes they would have you put your foot on their knee or they’d kneel on the ground, but you could always watch the top of their head as they concentrated. Their fingers would fly and a bow would appear, making your shoe nice and snug again. I remember feeling eewy-gewy inside because I needed help, especially if it wasn’t my parents who were obligated to me. But I did need it and in the end, it was good. Maybe that’s how the disciples felt when the Savoir washed their feet.
I’d challenge all of us to not only let Jesus serve us, but watch Him while He does it. If you can let yourself feel awkward for a little while, with no fig leaves hiding your need, you will see how much He loves you.