The Only Thing You Need You Already Have

Today I was not the person I want to be.  Come to think of it, I wasn’t that person yesterday either.  I’m tired.  I haven’t been feeling well.  Every time I try to sleep, some noise in the house wakes me up, and God forbid that the maker of the noise should be someone in my family, or she is sure to find herself on the receiving end of something she almost certainly does not deserve.  I have been downright insufferable, like a two year old who gets so tired he cannot sleep, cannot be kind, cannot relax, cannot take directions, and cannot accept the love of those who just want him to be well.  Lately I dread the thought of moving, or trying to accomplish anything.  I simply cannot stand myself.  At least my family can go in the other room and close the door.  I have tried that, but no matter where I go there I am, and I continue to strongly dislike the company.

I cannot accept what I need most.  I get in these funks and I push people away.  I’ll bet I’m not the only one.  Most of us are blessed to be surrounded by people who care about us and just want us well, and most of us get into these dark spaces where instead of receiving that love, we reject it.  We prefer, for some sick reason, our tension and anger and darkness.  God help me that I am such a person, that I have times where I willfully retreat into darkness and illusion instead of allowing those I love to keep me grounded in the truth.  The truth is simply that I am loved.  I am loved more than my wife and children can express to me, and I mean more to them than I even understand.  I am the recipient of the most abundant grace and yet, in the times when I need it most, I cower in shadows, refusing to be loved, even going out of my way to be unlovable.

This is my deepest problem.  It is the deepest problem of nearly all human beings.  We are in various forms of rebellion and refusal to accept our true identity as the ones who are dearly loved of God.

If I can so clearly see it in my relationship to my wife and children, can I not also see it in relationship to God?  Do we not see how issues in relationships play out across all the relationships in our lives?  If I struggle with intimacy, I’ll struggle with it in every relationship.  If I struggle with trust, I’ll struggle with it in every relationship.  If I chronically push people away, I will do that not only with people but with God as well.

That is why God places such a high value on our coming to love others deeply.  We cannot and will not love God differently than we love people, and we will not love people differently than we love God.  In whatever ways we struggle to love people and be loved by them, we will struggle to love God and be loved by him.  Whatever successes we have in learning to love and be loved by other people we will also have in learning to love and be loved by God.

Today I was not the person I want to be.  Today I am ashamed of myself, and frustrated at my immaturity and weakness.  But none of that changes reality, which is that even as I wallow in my fatigue and frustration, even as I lash out against others, I am deeply and completely loved.  This is the central reality of my life, and one I need to learn to live in more consistently.  My family already loves me more than I can ever know.  God loves me even more.  You too are are deeply loved, beyond your ability to understand, by your family, your friends, and by God.  The only thing you need you already have.  Blessings and peace to you this week as you learn to live in that love.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic. A request for me to defend some of my comments does not obligate me to do so.

  • Sarah

    Your description is so true of me at times, especially when I’m really tired. Why can’t we see that before we get there?

    • I think it’s because all that nasty emotional stuff that causes us to be mean and reject love creates a readiness to hurt people, and even a delight in it. And we feed on that sick cycle. It’s evil. I think we can reach a state where we stop feeling bad about it, stop seeing it as something other than how we want to be, and begin to identify ourselves with those evil emotions, and when that happens we become truly evil people at the core, and it is characterized by that same inability to see how debased we have become. M. Scott Peck wrote a fantastic book about this called People of the Lie. I highly recommend it.

      I told my wife last night, “I am so ashamed and embarrassed at how I behaved yesterday. On the other hand, I fired off a good blog post about it.” 🙂 She, of course, was gracious. Because — of course — she loves me.

  • Sounds like a Monday (any Monday). It’s amazing how God takes the less part of us and incerts the more part of himself. He’s strong in our weakness. He’s always strong but it’s most apparant when we are weakest. So, you might just be showing your God off.

    • God gets shown off, I think, when we realize how far we’ve drifted from love, and set out to move back into that place by opening back up to the one who is the source of love.

  • Kate Elliott

    Hey Dave. I have these days too, as I’m sure most do. I lash out and then fully regret it seconds later. I even wonder what possessed me to do it in the first place, like I was another person when it happened. Makes me so sad that I can be so mean to my loved ones. Hugs! Hope you’re feeling more yourself soon!

    • Yeah, we definitely all have those days! There’s just something in human nature that lashes out against the people we love most, and refuses to let them love us when we most need it. I hope to be more aware that that’s what I’m doing, and maybe learn to accept love a little better.

  • Janinne Garrett

    Holy Cow Dave! You are one smart guy!

    • Thanks for reading and commenting, Janinne. You’ve always been an encourager. You might appreciate the book I’m working on, which will actually be a whole book of thoughts on the connection between human relationships and our relationship with God.