We live in a world of ducks. I’m a duck and probably so are you. We seem to have it all going on – smooth feathers glistening in the sun as we glide effortless along the calm surface of the pond.
But guess what? In order for the surface to appear so calm, there is a whole lotta crazy kicking going on just under the water and out of view from the rest of the world! It’s easy to justify life as a duck; I don’t want to bother anyone with my little issues; if people really knew what was going on, I’d be embarrassed, lose my reputation, lose my job, friends, family…the list goes on and on.
For whatever reason, the world has convinced us that good people look or act a certain way. The best leader to follow is the one who never seems to get ruffled or upset. The best friends to have are the ones who always have the right answer and appear to have a perfect life; maybe we hope that some of their perfection will rub off on us and will make us better or smarter or more perfect!
Even as believers, we twist that thought into believing that we have to prove to God that we are worthy of being called a follower of Jesus; we have to work to prove that we are lovable, when we know we aren’t.
It’s as if we feel we have to convince God that He didn’t make a mistake when He called us to be His children. We think we need to prove our worth to Him because that’s the way it works here on earth. But earth is NOT heaven, thank goodness! God loves me NO MATTER WHAT! And He decided I was lovable way before I was even born; before I made all the gazillion mistakes I made before I gave my heart to Jesus. Who does that? No one but Jesus, which makes it challenging for some folks to believe.
The great news is that we don’t have to work so hard pretending everything’s ok. God gave us a way out, a way to let go of the self-shaming that can keep us from being all that He wants us to be. We can acknowledge that we are all kicking like crazy under the surface of the water – every single one of us – because none of that matters to God. His love is so complete and absolute that even though He knows us better than we know ourselves, He loves us and continues to prove it through other believers, His word and the presence of His Holy Spirit.
The apostle Paul wrote a letter to the Roman believers during his third missionary journey. God gave him the most comforting words for those of us who have messed up, or feel like God is just too far away because of our continuing sin even after we’ve given our hearts to Him.
God loves you and me no matter what we’ve done. I pray that these words from our Heavenly Father will wrap around your shoulders like a warm, Holy hug. He loves you, my friend; and He loves me, even when I feel like I’ve let Him down. There is hope for us. We don’t need to keep calm on the surface while we are hurting and broken just below the surface.
What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us?
Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one – for God himself has given us right standing with himself. Who then will condemn us? No one – for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.
Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.” No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow – not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below – indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord! – Romans 8:31-39 (NLT)