I used to think that if I feel what I thought I should, I should work and make myself feel it.
That’s kind of vague. Let me rephrase that, because, I’m sure, when I say it a little bit differently, you’ll know what I’m talking about. Have you ever not felt happy, when you thought you should, so you’ve felt bad for feeling bad? Or, in a more personal example, last week I felt so stressed in the first half of the week. And I felt bad and guilty about being stressed.
Sometimes, I think that I’m superman. Sometimes, this great understanding of grace that I think I have isn’t all that great. Honestly, sometimes, it seems like I don’t have a clue what grace is. So, for my own sake, and for your’s, let me define it as I’ve come to know it to mean:
Grace is getting what you don’t deserve, didn’t meet the requirements for, and surely didn’t earn. Grace is buying your little boy or girl an ice cream cone because they’re sick—not because they did their chores. Grace is loving your husband after he cheats on you with another woman from church—not loving him after he buys you new jewelry and takes you on a romantic date. Grace is assuming that someone has a lot on their plates when they are rude to you, instead of sticking up for their inappropriate behavior that you don’t deserve.
For me to say that I need grace, is to say that I am a failure in at least one way in my life. (The truth is, I am a failure in a lot of ways). But, many of my failures are my inabilities to accept my own inabilities, which is again vague, but I’ll get to it in a minute.
It’s really easy for me to extend grace to a lot of people in my life (with the obvious exception of family members and really, really close relationships—everyone knows those are so much harder for some reason!). It’s really easy for me to say, “Don’t worry about it, man. There’s no pressure,” or “Dude, don’t feel bad about that—it’s really ok. I completely understand.” But, man, oh man, is it hard to say,
“I’m not a pillar of positivity right now.” or
“I really want you to have a pity party for me now.” or
“I am worried that when I prayed this morning and last night, a lot of it was work and not just enjoying the abundant love of Jesus, and I don’t know what to think about that.”
It’s really hard for me to think that, so often, I take the role of the prodigal son’s older brother—the one who was working so diligently in the fields, but can’t accept his loving Father’s extravagant grace that says,
“[E]verything I have is yours.”
So often, while I preach the Gospel of the Grace of Jesus, that his work on the Cross is enough, I deny it in practice. I think that I need to be working so hard in the fields, instead of knowing the my loving Father wants to share everything with me.
I pray that this truth gets down deep in my soul:
>God is madly in love with me (even when I am pretty terrible to him and to those around me).
>God is proud to call me his beloved child (even when I feel pretty ashamed).
>God is pleased with me (even when my actions and attitudes sure aren’t pleasing).
Brother reader, sister reader, you’re not alone in this. May we all learn his grace.
Ever since I came back to America after an internship in Madrid, Spain, I have been trying to get back.
Every summer since, and in my preparations for where to go next, after graduating from college (uni for my British friends) I have been trying to get back to Spain and see where I end up after some time there. I long to go, build relationships, follow Jesus’s commandments of loving one another and making disciples. I long to build bridges between Westerners and non-Westerners, to share the Gospel of the scandalous grace of Jesus to Europeans burnt out on religion and to immigrants who don’t have background knowing the Good News of Jesus.
It makes sense that God should open up all the doors, right? I mean, I want to go to a cultural mixing place and share what he’s doing in the world with people, right? How could God not want that? How is it that every single time I try to go through the door across the sea, it slams inopenably shut?
At first, just after returning to the States, this was hard for me to handle. My heart was in Spain, and my body was in the United States. It was a tremendously difficult time of adjustment, learning to live with the divorce between where I had to be and where I passionately longed to be. But, over the years since, Jesus has really taught me some grace in how to live in his Kingdom.
I still long to go back East, across the sea, and I feel like the Lord will call me to spend much of my life within a day’s drive of the Mediterranean, but no longer how hard I try, at this point, I am unable to go. For years, I was like a horse in need of breaking—I longed for my own desires. I thought I understood how God worked. I thought I understood what he was up to.
But, in his patience and his grace, he’s taught me the beauty of waiting on him here. He’s taught me the joy of patient obedience. He’s taught me so much more about living out faith in trusting him and his character. He’s taught me the magnificence of waiting in the middle of the Midwest, in an ethnically monotone (or two-tone at best) locale and following him here. He’s taught me about the sameness of the world and the coherence of obedience: I want to start small groups of people who are seeking to follow and obey the teachings of Jesus in Spain and the Mediterranean basin, so I’ll take up Jesus’s teachings and start now. He’s taught me the Grace that my life will not be defined by how many converts I make, how many small groups I start, or how many churches I plant. Instead, he’s taught me the Kingdom principal that my life will be measured by how much I live in his love, love others, and make disciples, wherever that may be.
It’s not in my hands to make myself get back East. I will knock on the doors, and it’s in his hands to open them. I will try to go in that direction, but ultimately, he’s sovereign. I’ve learned to let go of my undomesticated horse-attitude, the attitude that bucks and rears and tries to throw my rider. I’ve learned to patiently wait.
And to wait with my eyes open to follow him here.
All the while praying for the opportunity to go.
I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty fickle. For example, I’ll have a head cold (you know the type that lasts something like 10-14 days), and I’ll forget what it was like to ever be able to breath clearly through my nose or what it felt like to not feel bad. Really? I would only be sick for a week and start thinking those things.
What can I say? I’m fickle. I forget.
While the example of forgetting what it’s like to be healthy when I’m only a bit under the weather seems funny and innocent enough, I often experience a far more nefarious kind of fickle forgetfulness. Sometimes, like now, when pretty much everything in my life is going well, I forget what it was like less than a year ago when all was hard, when my prayers were more like cries, and when I didn’t feel joy, but only heaping pile after heaping pile of heartrending pain. But, it’s crucial that I never forget those days. It’s crucial that I never forget the times of pain.
In another area, there are all sorts of things that I don’t feel like I struggle with anymore. There are sins that I have been set free from, and broken ways of looking at the world and at others that have fallen away from my eyes. Yet it’s vital to my walk with Jesus that I hold those things near.
Why? Why should I hold the pain of the past close? Why should I never forget my past sins? Should I live in perpetual hurt? Should I live in unending guilt for sins I committed years ago? No, instead, I am called to the exact opposite.
I’ve found that when I’ve forgotten the pain of the past, and when I’ve forgotten what it was like to struggle against big, sinful addictions, I lose grace for people. And, even more importantly, I lose my ability to receive Jesus’s grace for me. You see, I start imagining myself as capable. I start thinking of myself as independent. I start thinking of myself as near-invincible.
I’m reading Brennan Manning’s book, Abba’s Child, where he talks about soldiers of Love must be wounded. Out of our own brokenness, we can truly love. His words, and those of the countless other wise voices before him resonate with my heart. Within the last year, I have, for the first time, been plunged deep into the profound depths of the real grace of God. For the first time, I fully embraced my own inability and brokenness, and I found a God who accepted me. I found a God who did not reject me. I learned and experienced that in confessing the fullness of sin and corruptness, God longed for me.
Our sin brings us shame. And in our shame we want to duck and hide, separating ourselves far from the God who longs to make us whole and accepted. We run and hide, separating ourselves from him. But, when we acknowledge our own crap, when we admit freely that we are capable of unimaginable things—when I own up to the fact that I have lived much of my life controlled by lust, I am so often full of pride, I have hurt person after person after person, I am tragically self-centered, I don’t trust, and I have hated many more times than I feel comfortable admitting, we can finally receive God’s love and grace.
When we can’t, we are finally in the place to let Him who can be all that we need. There we find peace, love, acceptance, and new life in Christ’s love and sacrifice.
We need to constantly remember to stop hiding and stop forgetting where we come from. And here, in this place, I find that I am forgiven, I can forgive myself, and I can forgive others.
This weekend, I had the privilege of visiting my dear friend, Ben Bock, at his home and college in Springfield, MO. While there, I met more people than I can even count and essentially had a 16 hour straight heart-to-heart with my friend who is so close to me and at the same time kept so distant from me by the miles that lie in between.
At one point during the weekend, I had the opportunity of meeting a friend of his who loves Jesus very much. But, as we talked for a long time, I kept getting the strange impression that this guy was struggling with that fight that we all struggle with so often (dare I say, especially me?). You know what fight I’m talking about: the fight to stay in the truth and let Jesus do the work for us instead of trying to do it all right and get it all right all by ourselves—AKA legalism.
So I began to share what I thought the Spirit was putting on my heart. And, to cut down any pretense or false idea that I have it all together and had some incredible divine appointment and spoke entirely to his life and his deepest darkest secrets, I will say that he didn’t react with immediate stupor at a great and intimately appropriate truth, like it had cut him to the heart. In fact, it could be that I was totally wrong and didn’t speak to what he needed. However, at this point in the story, his part will fade to black and Jesus will take more center stage.
I began to share how much Jesus loves him. I began to share how Jesus was so proud of him and not disappointed in him in the least. I began to share how I couldn’t get over how much Jesus loves me. I said, “I’m sure my theology is crap, but I just can’t get over how much Jesus loves me.” Tears were streaming down my eyes as I was breaking down like a looney in this café bistro creation in downtown Springfield.
But the story doesn’t end there. I left that conversation thinking that it was one of the greatest conversations I had ever had about Jesus with anyone, but I didn’t think much beyond that. It wasn’t until Tuesday morning when I was spending time with Jesus, listening to Tim Reimherr, from IHOP sing, “I’ll let you love me / I’ll let you hold me until you’re done,” that the significance of what happened on Saturday night and what Jesus is doing in my heart hit me. It was during this time that I read John 9.
In John 9, Jesus heals a man who was born blind. Now, there’s a big to-do about the fact that nobody knew who’s sin caused the blindness, but that’s besides the point—they weren’t ready for the revelation that nobody’s sin caused it and that Jesus was going to use it to make God look so good! Jesus heals the man really quickly in the story. In fact, the healing is never even the focus of the story if you ask me. What unfolds afterwards is by far more crucial to the main message of the story.
The Pharisees (or people who believed that if they tried to get everything right all the time they could please God and save themselves, but they really just ended up being miserable and judgmental) were pretty ticked off about the whole deal. They dragged the poor guy in and demanded to know who healed him, they even interrogated the man’s parents, and in the end, upon learning that the healer was Jesus, they told him, “God should get the glory for this, because we know this man Jesus is a sinner.”
The ex-blind man’s answer is the focal point of the story and really crucial to the point here too: “I don’t know whether he is a sinner, [b]ut I know this: I was blind, and now I can see!”
When I read that, it struck me. On Saturday, I remember telling this man who has a way better understanding and knowledge of the ins and outs of theology that I probably had really crappy theology. I didn’t know, to parallel it with the answer of the blind man, whether or not he was a sinner. But I did know one thing: Jesus loves me very much.
Now, I’m not telling you to forget theology, throw out the Bible, or that what you believe doesn’t matter nor am I saying in the parallel that I am questioning the sinlessness of Jesus. What I am telling you is that NONE of those nitty gritties of theology matter if you aren’t overwhelmed with Jesus’s great love for you. They won’t get you anywhere. I pray that we may, as a generation of twenty-somethings, we may see something beautiful in the church by being a body of believers that is fixated on one thing: how much Jesus loves us.
And he does. As Matthew Barnett says on the fantastic documentary, Father of Lights, in your worst binge, Jesus passionately loved you. In your crappiest state, he longed for you. When you were stuck in the most messed up stuff imaginable he said to you (even if you couldn’t hear it), “Turn your eyes from me; they overwhelm me” (Song of Songs 6:5). Even if you’re there right now, know that Jesus is madly in love with you. He is not angry with you, and doesn’t condemn you, even if those Pharisees do.
I think this may be a multi-post series—my first one of the kind. So, it may be great, or it may be a flop. All I know is that I long to communicate an idea that is stirring in my heart with the vulnerability that I will grant to a blog but won’t to Twitter. However it turns out, I pray that the Lord will use my little thoughts and scribbles on a digital page to speak to some hearts, even just one. And if not, I will be grateful for the chance to process these things more fully than I would normally.
Tonight, I was troubled (maybe am troubled would be a better way of phrasing it). I found out late last week that I did not receive the Fulbright Scholarship to go and teach English in Madrid, Spain, and, while I have options, I was fully hoping on receiving the scholarship. Now, I am back at square one. I don’t know where I am going or what I will be doing. But that’s not the only area of life that I feel that way. For the most part, take an area of my life and apply that sentence: “I don’t know where I am going or what I will be doing.” Diabetes=check. Relationships of all kinds=check. My future=EXTRA CHECK!
I have a metaphoric pile of work to do tonight, from homework to work work. So I sat down to start learning about Spanish verbal periphrases and wanted to do so while semi-consciously giving glory to Jesus. I opened a new tab in my web browser and pulled up an IHOP (International House of Prayer) prayer room archive to listen to. As soon as I hit play, I heard Sarah Edwards’s voice coming through my speakers singing, “Be still and know….” Even now, nearly 15 minutes later, she is singing about Who Jesus is and what he has done, encouraging me to “Be still and know….”
God’s voice calls out from the Psalms, “Be still and know that I am God! / I will be honored by every nation. / I will be honored throughout the world” (46:10). And I am convicted with a gentle nudge that I’ve forgotten the purpose of my life. My purpose isn’t about whether or not I have the perfect relationships, that I am the part of a magnificent body of believers, and that my life goes absolutely according to my plan. Instead, my life is most beautiful when it looks most like the Cross. It isn’t about even if I make it to Spain, where my heart longs to be. Instead, my life has the most meaning when it is poured out at the feet of my great Lover.
The older I get, the less life makes sense to me. The older I get, the more I am convinced that I don’t have any answers for anyone. But, as my everything-makes-sense-world slowly crumbles around me, one thing becomes more and more clear and more solid: Jesus.
You see, before I can “[b]e still,” I must know. I must know Who he is. My life makes sense only in light of surrender to him and who he is. But there’s more on that soon.
A little over a year ago, I was in Olathe, Kansas, staying at a friend’s house a few days after attending the International House of Prayer’s annual conference, Onething, when I had what could be a life-changing dream.
In the dream, I was outside the Kansas City convention center during the Onething conference while hundreds or thousands of people were milling about, some crossing the street and going in, some leaving, some standing, some sitting, some talking—just the usual. As I approached the corner, going in the direction of the convention center I noticed a man.
Now, stay with me here. He was tall, maybe about 6 feet and 2 inches, thin, and had prominent cheek bones. And while this is blatant profiling, from the way he was dressed, the way he moved and carried himself, and finally to the way he spoke, I could tell he was severely mentally delayed. He slurred his words and was kind of drooly.
Yet, he was passionate, moving around talking—even teaching, about the love of God. I remember thinking that I wasn’t sure this man could tie his shoes, but I knew that he knew the love of Jesus and loved him with all of his heart.
I woke up at 3:30 in the morning and knew I had to write the dream down so I wouldn’t forget it. I chewed on it and told my friend, Line (pronounced “Lee-nah”), about it who joined me in prayer, asking Jesus what this dream was all about. Nearly a week later, she told me a truth that hadn’t really hit me until the last couple of days:
In the dream, I saw myself. So often, I think I have it all figured out. So often, I think that I can do it all by myself. But, the truth of the matter is, I am so helpless. I am like that man who can probably not even tie his shoes. And yet, that man, in my dream was so profoundly inspiring: he was unable to tie his shoes and likely knew very little, but he knew deeply how much Jesus loved him, and he was filled with love in return. When I just let him love me and let his son’s work on the cross be enough, instead of trying to prove how capable I am, I find that my Father is so pleased with me. When I rest in how much my Father loves me, I find myself free from pressures to get it all right.
We never, my friend Line pointed out, are upset with our babies for falling when they are learning how to walk. We are so proud of them for each successful step they take. Often, I beat myself up for my inabilities, my failures, and my delays. I get frustrated about how long my, to use a big word, “sanctification” is taking, but the voice the Father speaks to me:
“I love you, and I’m so proud of you.” It’s scandalous. It’s radical. It’s the good Father’s heart for those he’s bought by his son. I may not be the most impressive. I may be like a man with severe mental delays on a street corner. But my identity is that my good Father loves me so very much.
And he feels that same about us all.
I was approached by a beggar while walking on the Delmar Loop in St. Louis, MO, the other day. I say beggar because of all the negative connotations that just came to your mind. But in this story, the villain is not he, but it is me.
I was walking from where I had left my car parked and going to meet some friends at a quasi-authentic Middle Eastern restaurant and, while passing by a Starbucks, this man comes up to me and very politely asks, “Sir, could you buy me a coffee?”
“No, I’m sorry,” I told him, falling back on my default response, and continued on, instantly aware of my own guilt.
“What should I do in cases like this?” I asked myself as I walked. I’m currently reading Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables, and knew that Valjean, ex-convict, would have surely given the man a few dollars. I resolved to start carrying $10 cash with me at all times to be able to help those in need, but still my heart weighed heavy in my chest.
While sitting in the warm window seat of the restaurant, propped up on Middle Eastern cushions, with a kettle of steaming hot mint tea, and a bowl of foul moudames (not pronounced “foul madams,” I learned), he walked by, still out in the cold, and my heart broke.
The lesson isn’t that I should carry $10 so that I can do my “Christian duty,” put change in his hand and move on, but it’s that I am a beggar of the most rugged kind. I had been planning on writing a blog dealing with question of when we abuse God’s grace. I had been planning on writing about when we sin again and again, spitting in the face of Christ on the cross when I did it again. I paid $10 for my warm meal and drink, yet left him alone, without even the comfort of coffee. Surely giving him coffee wouldn’t have enabled a lifestyle of drugs and alcohol like so many of the bourgeois say.
Yet, I turned him away, and shame on me. In the days following, though I first knew when he walked by my window in that restaurant, I have realized that the right thing to do was to say to him, “Friend, I could buy you a coffee, or you can come and eat and drink with me and my friends.” Christ would have invited him, regardless of his state, regardless of the cause of his poverty, regardless of his church attendance to dine in intimacy with him and his body.
So, with a heavy heart I approach my King, my God, and say I am sorry. I am sorry that I missed his Kingdom’s practices, and didn’t show love and grace and mercy when they have been so freely and liberally lavished on me. I again receive his grace afresh and anew, and ask his Spirit to lead me and the rest of his Body to respond as he has responded to us—in infinite love that flows from the wellspring of eternal love and life his Spirit implants within us.
Tough, you think you’ve got the stuff
You’re telling me and anyone
You’re hard enough
You don’t have to put up a fight
You don’t have to always be right
Let me take some of the punches
For you tonight
Listen to me now
I need to let you know
You don’t have to go it alone
And it’s you when I look in the mirror
And it’s you when I don’t pick up the phone
Sometimes you can’t make it on your own
— from “Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own” by U2
This song nearly brought tears to my eyes. You see, I am good at the things I care about. I am good at school, I am decently intelligent, and I usually have my “life” together. But over the last six months, I’ve learned the depth of my own inability.
I tend to struggle with religion. I tend to struggle with trying to get it all right all the time. But so often I cannot. And by so often, I mean literally all the time. My heart breaks over my sin, and my inability to overcome it. I am ashamed of my pride, lust, greed, jealousy, bitterness, anger, selfishness, and ability to use and manipulate others. And at the root of it all, there is my pride to say in the face of God, “I love you! And I will appease you!”
Yet, the problem with this attitude is that it smacks of the Galatian theology that Paul was not a fan of. He asked them, “After starting your Christian lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort?” (see Galatians 3). Bonhoeffer traces religion, as can be defined by man setting the table before God in an attempt to reach him and please (or appease) him, all the way back to the Garden of Eden. He says that when Man and Woman chose to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, they chose religion. They chose to be good enough on their own. And the sad truth is this drive for religion is within the flesh and blood of every man and woman since.
But the thing that I’ve learned through the last six months (and I have yet to learn in so many ways) is that I can’t make it on my own. I can’t be good enough. I can’t make the mark. I can’t appease God. I am, as Brennan Manning says so articulately time and again, a ragamuffin. Or, in my own words, I am a failure.
And the other thing I’ve learned is that so is everyone else.
But the most important thing I’ve learned is that God loves all these failures. Because he loves me, he has set the table for me. Because he loves me, he became a man and walked on the earth for 30-some years. Because he loves me he became Emmanuel, God with us. He aligned himself with the fate man, and he appeased his holy, pure, and perfect justice.
The scandal of history is that God himself died. And the scandal of the laws of the way life works is that God, in his death and resurrection, appeased his justice and took all the judgment. Now, in Christ, there is no judgment and no condemnation (see Romans 8).
This semester, I am beginning the eternity-long journey of learning grace—that he made a way for me. This semester, I am beginning the eternity-long journey of learning how much God loves me. This semester, I am learning that I can accept myself with my inabilities and trust my loving God who is able and has done it all for me.
And I hope that we can all, together, walk on this journey of learning how much God loves us.
Whoever told you the Christian life was easy lied. Whoever told you any life was easy lied. Instead, life is filled with hurt, heartbreak, and some downright hopeless situations.
Sometimes, the things you want most of all will never come to pass. Sometimes, the sins of your own heart weigh heavy on you and sicken you to no end, and you wonder how a perfect God could love someone as disgraceful as you. Other times, it’s the sins of the holier-than-thou greeter at church that just ticks you off—everyone applauds him for his great works of faith, while you are faithfully marching on through the drudgery of the deep valleys of the faith, unnoticed and unthanked.
Sometimes, it’s the achievements and opportunities of others that discourage you. The man in your small group just got a job doing exactly what God’s put on his heart and he is so at peace in the freedom of self-identifying in Christ’s love. It’s the friend from a mutual internship who is telling you about their experiences in a radical missions experiment where the lost are coming and her mouth overflows with the praises of what God’s doing in her missions field at work and school and even at Barnes and Noble.
And you’re just sitting there, feeling alone, abandoned by the God you love and distant from the believers in your life. Your prayers sound like those of the prodigal son’s brother: “All these years I’ve slaved for you and never once refused to do a single thing you told me to. And in all that time you never gave me even one young goat for a feast with my friends. Yet when this son of yours comes back after squandering your money on prostitutes, you celebrate by killing the fattened calf!” (Luke 15:29-30)
We live in a superficial, better-than-you culture: we compare what we have with what others have. We compare our “ministries” with the “ministries” of others. If you ask me, I’d tell you I can’t imagine genuinely feeling what John the Baptist said, when he responded to his disciples’ complaints about Jesus “stealing” his followers with “He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less” (John 3:30).
I pray all the time to be like Mary, sitting at Jesus’ feet, but I often find myself feeling and thinking what her sister Martha thought, exclaiming, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me” (Luke 10:42).
But that’s when the Holy Spirit responds. He let’s me cry myself into a listening cathartic state and then he affirms his love for me. He affirms that he cares for me. He affirms that he hears me and sees me. And then he gently, but very firmly, tells me to get over myself.
Brothers and sisters, I hope I have spoken to your hearts in this. I know I am not alone with these feelings, they are common to believers (and unbelievers alike). And I want to encourage you to ask the Holy Spirit what he thinks of you. Ask him to affirm his love for you, and to point out how you can follow him best. If you’re like me, you probably need to get over yourself—I know I do. If you’re like the prodigal’s brother or me so often, you sure need to stop comparing yourself to others—it won’t get you anywhere. It won’t get you to the joy of the Lord here and now, nor will it get you to heaven later. It’ll get you to misery, fear, an increasingly deep spiral of selfishness, anger, and resentment. It’ll eventually get you to the place where the brother of the prodigal son was when he wouldn’t even enter the house and join the feast.
Ask Jesus to be your only audience, to give you tunnel vision on him. Ask him to take your ministry away and replace it with his ministry. And be vulnerable. Confess your failings and your shortcomings to your brothers and sisters in the faith. Chances are they are struggling with comparing themselves to you—it would do everyone good to confess and ask for prayer and forgiveness. As James says, “[c]onfess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.”
Let’s be healed. Let’s find freedom from comparison. Let’s follow Jesus together. Let’s get over ourselves.
Sometimes you just feel really discouraged. Expectations aren’t met, your dreams don’t pan out, and the things you want the most in life can’t be yours.
It’s at these times that I realize the joy and the beauty of the one thing I have.
I am Mary, sitting at Jesus’ feet, hanging on every word he says.
I have no desire to be Martha, running around, sweeting and breaking my back, thinking I am doing the kingdom some good. Instead, I want, as Jesus put it, “the one thing worth being concerned about” (Luke 10:42)
I long to abide in Jesus and for him to abide in me. In that moment, when I am lost in love with my savior and lover, the concerns that so easily torment me, like politics, life decisions, relationship issues, responsibilities, and stresses fade away into minor things remembered, but only like a dream from the night before (as Misty Edwards alludes to).
There, with Jesus, my perspective shifts, my eyes are open, and I see what really matters, what will really last.
Then, when I return out of that secret place, alone with my great lover, I find that the those problems that tormented me before aren’t so big and they aren’t so scary and they aren’t so bleak anymore. My focus is no longer on me. Me and my problems don’t consume me anymore, but I look to my lover.