I often feel like a failure as I juggle motherhood, my job, being a wife, being a friend, being a sister, being a daughter…………..
oh, and being a disciple of Christ.
The last thing on my list should have come first, but if I retyped it I would be pretending that I had thought of it first which would totally be a lie, and yet another example of how I can quickly come up short.
What do I do with such a messed-up priority list?
I try to get up early to read the Bible.
I whisper prayers (very short ones) throughout the day, because it’s the only way I survive.
And yet, my heart feels pulled in every possible direction so often that I find myself struggling to believe that on the day I stand before God I will really deserve to hear the words,
“Well done, good and faithful servant.”
Most days, I feel very far from living a life that is “well done.”
So, this morning as I read about the Israelites finally getting to enter the Promised Land,
I found myself feeling a little better.
I found myself feeling freed up a bit from any need to feel like I have my act all together, because of what the Israelites heard just before crossing over from the wilderness to Canaan.
Moses stands before the crowd of people, and gives one last, long speech.
I would love to have seen the faces of the Israelites as he said this,
“After the Lord your God has driven them (the Anakites) out before you, do not say to yourself, “The Lord has brought me here to take possession of this land because of my righteousness.” No, it is on account of the wikedness of these nations that the Lord is going to drive them out before you. It is not because of your righteousness or your integrity that you are going to take possession of their land.” (Deuteronomy 9)
Moses then goes on to remind them of all the things they have done wrong in the wilderness.
All the times they have messed up, looked to false gods, lost their faith,and rebelled against God.
Clearly, the Israelites were a mess.
And still God was with them, walking with them, leading them every step of the way.
I don’t understand everything about the Old Testament story of God calling out these people as His chosen nation.
(I do believe that somehow everyone else had an opportunity to make the choice to follow Him at some point along the way. I’m not sure if it was during their lifetime or after, but I can’t help but believe that a God of love and grace would allow anyone to live and die without the chance of knowing Him personally, but like I said, I don’t have all the answers.)
But as far as the Israelites go, I do know this:
They weren’t good enough to enter the Promised Land, but it was okay.
Somehow, God covered all their mistakes and shortcomings, even then, with His endless grace.
Later in his long talk, Moses gives the Israelites these commands:
“Fear the Lord, walk in all His ways, love Him, and serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul, and observe the Lord’s commands and decrees..” (Deuteronomy 10)
Not an easy list to follow, but at least a kind-of litmus test to pass all their decisions and choices through.
Today, I’m fully aware that I will never be good enough for Heaven and that’s okay.
I’m also realizing more and more every day that the moment I feel like I am good enough to claim eternity with God as something I deserve is the day I will have a much more serious problem………….
that problem would be pride.
So, today, I’m embracing my weaknesses, my shortcomings, and my inability to live a perfect life.
I’m going to smile my way through this Monday knowing that on my own I am nothing and that in my own strength I am incredibly frail.
Thankful today for a God who promises to be my strength, my Deliverer, my everything.
That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
II Cor. 12:10