“Stay on track.” “Try harder!” “Pull yourself up by your bootstraps.” “What’s wrong with you?!” Have you heard any of these? Maybe you’ve even said them to yourself as you tried a hundred times and failed. Sheer willpower may work for a while … and then unraveled. Perhaps you look like you’ve got it all together, but the mess that is underneath is still there.
The reality is that most of us care very much about our wellbeing; so when people tell us to clean up our act and do better, it’s just a rehash of promises we’ve made ourselves, like: I will be content. I will try harder. I will get past this somehow. I. . . I . . . I . . . Your list is more personalized because you know yourself like no other. But can we put our lists aside and for a moment? Before you consider what you should be doing, or what you didn’t do, or what you may need to do, let’s fully explore what you don’t have to do.
You Don’t Have To Do This Alone
My two-year-old grandson, Luke, stands at the edge of the pool. He has on his floats. An Elmo swim diaper. Sweet little yellow goggles that make him look like a frog. I stand waist-deep in water, my arms open wide.
“Come on, buddy. You can do this.” He edges closer and peers in, then backs away. After several trips back and forth, he finally sits on the edge of the pool and dips his toes in the water. I slip next to him when he’s not looking and scoop him up and hold him close. Into the water we go.
“I got you, buddy,” I whisper. “I got you.” he could fight me, but he trust instead. After all, this is his Gaga. Over the next several minutes, Luke gains courage to go further and further, until finally he is jumping into my open arms. Any time he feels frightened, he whispers these words under his breath: “Igot you, buddy. Got you.” It is his assurance that no matter how scary things might feel, he is not alone.
The reality is that sometimes we sense God calling us into deeper waters as part of our healing process, but we find the prospect intimidating. We aren’t sure how to take the next step, or what to do if we take a dive and sink to the bottom. We want to trust, but it’s downright scary.
The disciples felt that way too. In John 16:17-18, we see them congregating in a huddle to dissect something Jesus had just told them. “In a little while you will see me no more,” He had said (v.16). This news stirred anxiety in the hearts of the disciples.
His words caused them to worry. What will we do without Him? Whom will we turn to when we feel weak or unable? what if we can’t accomplish what Jesus says we can? What if on one else sees in me what He does? These men were focused on their imperfections and their potential to stumble.
Jesus saw that they were brimming with worry: “Are you asking one another what I meant when I said, ‘In a little while you will see me no more’?” (John 16:19).
he gently assured them that even in the absence if His earthly presence, He would still be with them. Close as a whisper. They could ask for what they needed in His name, and they would receive it. He saw their insecurity, and them reminded them that His love and plan for them weren’t dependent on their efforts or worthiness, but on the Power that resided within them.
How does Scriptures respond to these fretful thought? “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7) God isn’t unaware of your fears or your failed attempts. He knows how scary this is for you. But He’s asking you to allow Him to scoop you up and take you deeper, because there are things He sees that you don’t yet. There are qualities He desires to instill in you that you aren’t even aware of yet. There are elements of your faith, as you move from the edge of uncertainty to trust, that you have yet to explore.
You are not alone, and you don’t have to do the work of healing alone.
By Suzanne Eller The Mended Heart
Hey everyone, I hope you liked the first part of chapter one of the mended heart. Thank you again Mama for helping me edit it down to fit a blog post better!