Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Mistakes God's Made

I spent a lot of years wondering why God would ever make me this way. Surely, it was some sort of mistake. For so long, when I looked around my life, I couldn't understand why it was the way it was. I suspected I was probably meant for so much more, and yet, here I was: so much less. I harbored a small bitterness in my soul, but just a small one. I mean, how do you really fault someone?

It was just a mistake.

The more I grew, the older I got, the more I spent time talking to others more faithful than myself, the more I understood that even though it felt like a mistake that I was made this way, it probably wasn't so much God's mistake. After all, this is a fallen world. There are some broken things here that just don't make sense. And as much as He knit me together in my mother's womb, to some degree, He was working with worn threads to begin with. That's what sin does. That's what fallenness does. So I stopped wondering why God would ever make me this way. I confess that I am made of broken things. That's not His fault.

Or His error.

But surrounded by the faithful, I was always told that God would transform these broken things. He'd make them whole again. All it took was a little prayer and faithfulness from me, and God would come and restore me to His original design. He would take away these broken things and reveal my truest self. And so, for awhile, I did just that. In prayer and faithfulness, in great agony at times, desperate and exhausted and in my best spiritual teenager angst, I prayed for God to change the very foundation of who I was. I know You didn't make me this way, Lord, I prayed. So change me. And some beautiful and unmistakably holy things started to happen in me. But the fundamentals of who I was, all the broken things about myself, remained. I couldn't understand how this could happen. How could a good and gracious God, in the face of my faithful, angsty prayers, keep me this way?

It must be a mistake.

Of course, as these things go, the longer I lingered in my discontent with the tension between the beautiful and holy things God was doing in me and the sheer and utter brokenness on which I felt my entire life was established, the more I understood that these things needed each other. My brokenness, of course, needed the holy things; that's what I'd been praying for all along. But these holy things needed my brokenness. Without my background, without my story, without all the little things it's so easy to hate about myself, it's impossible to love and appreciate all the little things of God. So I started to understand how God could keep me this way. I confess that only in the midst of my brokenness is the holiness His. It's not His fault.

Or His error.

As time continued to press on, as I became more comfortable in my own skin and more understanding of my own brokenness, something still sort of haunted me. There was this incredible disconnect between everything that God was doing in me and everything that I was doing in myself. Between who I was becoming and who I had been. I wasn't sure how to close the gap. I wasn't sure how to bridge the divide between brokenness and holiness. Then suddenly, I knew. I didn't have to. For the Son of Man had come for such a time as this, and He had already bridged that gap. Between my brokenness and my holiness stretched the beams of the Cross. It's hard to fathom, really. At just this moment when I was feeling both my dignity and my depravity so intensely, it's hard to fathom that God would save me. 

It's surely some sort of mistake.

I mean, God doesn't just save sinners. He saves righteous, faithful people, and I was feeling particularly neither at the time. I was so far from righteous. So far, so often, from faithful. The tension I was feeling between the dirt on my feet and the blood on His hands was just the most incredible.... It's indescribable. I was nothing worth saving. But then, I suppose, if I was anything worth saving, someone would have done it long before Jesus did. It wouldn't have taken a Savior, merely a friend. So I started to fathom the unfathomable - something so simple as a Savior. I confess that I need Him. Every. Single. Drop. of His blood. It's His incredible grace.

Not His error.

Which brings me to a place such as this, a place where I'm still trying to figure this whole God thing out. It's a place where I'm reconciling this God who didn't make me this way but certainly kept me this way and saved me anyway, despite my unrighteousness. For all the mistakes I thought He made along the way, each one has been proven wisdom, not folly. Each one has been proven true, not error. Each one has been shown to be incredible, and I am incredulous. But I'm coming to the place, finally, where I understand, through all of this and so much more, just how deeply God loves me. Me! Broken, angsty, unrighteous me. And I can only shake my head. 

It must be some mistake....

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