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.