I don’t know about you, but spring is always a tough time of year for me. I’m a full-time student and teacher, so my days are extremely busy. Hardly a day goes by without experiencing some mini-crisis that revolves around school, work or relationships.
When life gets busy, it’s so easy to let my relationship with God sit on the back-burner. In the past, I would let things slip and slide until I realized that I hadn’t touched my Bible or prayed in weeks/months, and then I would feel consumed with guilt and shame. What an awful Christian I was! I would beat myself up about my failings, and think that there wasn’t any point in working on my relationship with God if I couldn’t do it “right”. So I would just stop trying.
Even now that I’ve learned how to be more consistent in my walk with the Lord, I still go through bouts where I feel like a terrible Christian. I let fear, worry and anxiety consume my life, and don’t trust in God’s grace and provision. Every day is a struggle where I try to hold onto things that God never intended me to have. I feel like I have to “fix” my issues myself before God will be happy with me.
Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about a song by Crowder called “Come As You Are”. The chorus goes like this:
So lay down your burdens
Lay down your shame
All who are broken
Lift up your face
Oh wanderer come home
You’re not too far
Lay down your hurt
Lay down your heart
Come as you are
It reminds me that no matter how many times I’ve failed to be the kind of Christian I want to be, God isn’t asking for my perfection. He knows that we’re full of problems, mistakes and exhaustion, and He doesn’t demand that we fix ourselves before He’ll accept us. No, He just wants us to come.
A wise friend once reminded me that we tend to have the wrong perspective of God. We view him as someone who looks at us and says, “Ugh, you are the worst. I never met such a lazy Christian in my whole life. Come back once you get your act together!”. But actually, it’s not like that at all. It’s more like God says, “Hey! I like you! Actually, I love you! I really just want to be a part of your life, if you’ll let me.”
Instead of letting my discouragement about my mistakes and forgetfulness drive me away from God, like I did for so long, I’m learning how to take those feelings of inadequacy and failure and bring them to Christ. I still have so much to learn, but I think the key is using those feelings to remind me of how much I need God, and that I’m nothing without Him in my life.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 says “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (ESV).
In my weakness, He is my strength. In my failures, He is my Redeemer. In my troubles, He is my rock. He’s not pushing me away; He’s asking me to come.