Have you ever wondered whose side you’re on? You’d think you’d be on your own side—after all, you’re a pretty cool person with a big heart and good sense of humor—but you find yourself sabotaging your own efforts, plans, and goals.
Sometimes you even sabotage your relationships. Your life. Your self.
Maybe you sabotage your health by sitting on the couch with a bag of chips or a carton of smokes instead of going out for a walk, run, hike or bike. Maybe you ignore your grief, depression, and guilt instead of getting help because it’s easier to scroll through Facebook for hours. Maybe you even hurt yourself on purpose, perhaps by cutting or gambling your grocery money or ruminating on painful events and memories that happened long ago.
Maybe you keep ignoring the same old problems, people, and pain points.
Whose side are you on?
I used to not be on my own side. I didn’t think I was good enough to have a side, much less be on it! I didn’t think my presence mattered, my thoughts valuable, my words important.
So I read lots of self-help books and talked to counselors about how to feel better about myself. They helped, but I still struggled with feelings of existential angst. I didn’t feel like I mattered, that there was any point to life.
And then I realized I was trying too hard to blossom.
I was running after self-worth, strength, confidence, and love. I was chasing healing and growth. I wanted to be good, so I tried real hard. But I couldn’t be good by myself.
Eventually I ran out of books, counselors, podcasts, healing retreats, and options. It was time to meet my Maker instead of chasing stuff other people created.
God is on your side – even if you’re not.
In the forest one day, just before sunrise, I listened to pastor Tim Keller talk about the depth of the Father’s love for me. Suddenly Jesus’ sacrifice hit me in the heart: He tasted the agony of disconnection from God—that’s why He was sweating drops of blood. He didn’t want to go to the cross. It wasn’t the physical torture and crucification Jesus dreaded; it was being separated spiritually from His Father.
He could have run away, but He didn’t. He could have saved Himself, but He didn’t. Jesus proved He is on my side—and He’s on your side, too!
He proved it by dying for us.
“Our God who, out of love for us, sent the only Son He ever had wrapped in our skin,” writes Brennan Manning in The Ragamuffin Gospel. “Jesus learned how to walk, stumbled and fell, cried for His milk, sweated blood in the night, was lashed with a whip and showered with spit, was fixed to a cross, and died whispering forgiveness for us all.”
God doesn’t prove He’s on our side by protecting us from grief, pain, loss or even death. He proves it by repeatedly pouring love, grace, forgiveness, joy and peace into our lives.
I’m on my side now. I am a ragamuffin Christian, a little girl who just wants to go home. I’m a woman of faith who loves to encourage, inspire, think and dream. I’m a friend of Jesus, a lover of the Holy Spirit, and a daughter of the King.
And so are you.
God is on your side. Love and enjoy Him for who He is, not what He can give you. Seek His face not for His protection or healing, gifts or blessings. Get to know Him for who He is.
Get on your own side by developing a more personal relationship with Jesus. Turn your face and heart to Him; find out who He is. Spend time with Him, and He will fill you with light, love, joy and peace. He will heal your heart.
Have you read The Ragamuffin Gospel: Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up, and Burnt Out by Brennan Manning? Get it, and tell me your favorite passages. I’d love to hear from you! Even if you haven’t read it, tell me how you’re doing :-)
With His love,
Laurie & Blossy
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