The Lord has given me a clear Vision of Identity and Romance in His Kingdom. Yet My Own Dream seems to be just beyond my reach. I’ve messed up a lot, to be sure. Over and over again. Maybe I’m not ready yet. How can I ever be? What am I missing?
I once believed that God was using my losses and failures to punish me. For some unknown sin or error. And I was on my own to figure it out.
But that isn’t the Character of God,
who created me and sent His Son to die for me.
Finding Hope in the Pain of a Setback
Just so you know, as if you didn’t already. I can’t fix anything. For myself or anybody else. But I can share what I’m learning in my own process. So here is what I understand about messing up when it comes to Identity and Romance:
- Holding on to less-than-God’s-best hurts.
- Pain gets our attention. And that’s a good thing.
- But we only want the pain to go away. And that’s a bad thing.
Finding Joy in the Mercy of a Do-Over
The Book of Lamentations is filled with sorrowful songs. And its conclusion reminds us of The Lord’s character as we face our desired Do-Over.
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for His mercies never come to an end.
They are new every morning;
great is Your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23)
Pain is a Gift – a sign that it’s time for a do-over
Unlike the folks in the Old Testament, we are not being punished for getting it wrong. Because Jesus paid the price for our sins and set us FREE from God’s wrath. So why do we hurt so much? And, no, you cannot use other people as your scapegoat.
Here are a few possibilities:
- We will always reap whatever we sow.
- We try to get things our own way (through manipulation, etc.).
- We don’t understand that God has something better He wants to give us.
Maybe it’s time to let the Holy Spirit redecorate your heart!
I love how the Holy Spirit helps us pass our tests with flying colors! He’s been incredibly Merciful toward me. Pure Kindness. Ever Gentle. The Best Teacher ever!!!
So have a conversation with Him. He loves to talk with us. If you don’t believe me, give Him a try! You have nothing to lose and everything to gain, eh?
These questions are a pretty good place to begin:
- What are you trying to show me, Lord?
- What am I trying to force that doesn’t fit Your Plan for my life?
- What messed-up mindset am I holding on to that you would like to replace?
Embrace the Exciting Possibilities of Your Instead!
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendor.
They will rebuild the ancient ruins
and restore the places long devastated;
they will renew the ruined cities
that have been devastated for generations.
Strangers will shepherd your flocks;
foreigners will work your fields and vineyards.
And you will be called priests of the Lord,
you will be named ministers of our God.
You will feed on the wealth of nations,
and in their riches you will boast.
Instead of your shame
you will receive a double portion,
and instead of disgrace
you will rejoice in your inheritance.
And so you will inherit a double portion in your land,
and everlasting joy will be yours. (Isaiah 61:1-7)