Yesterday I accidentally deleted my website.
This was the colloquial straw that is often found breaking the backs of camels, and it was an unwelcome compound upon the awful string of months I’ve been having, even though it resulted in a newer, much better site. In this arid Dark Night of the Soul, I have found myself wrestling with a lot of thoughts about God and Jesus, and their love, their truth, and their reality. The conclusion that I have come to is this:
Jesus loves me.
I found out that there are few simpler truths available to a human being. I found that one of the most awful and profound ways in which we experience this is through suffering, sin, trials, and temptations. Something Jesus said has been sticking to my head the past few months. “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners,” He said. Read that again, but slower.
For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.
This is a passage that is easy to gloss over and assume we ‘get’ it, but I didn’t. I still don’t. But what I have discovered is that my sin has truly led me to the cross of Jesus Christ, more humbly than ever. When He said He did not come to call righteous people, but sinners, He really really meant it. I wasted the majority of my life figuring myself as one who fell in the ‘righteous’ category.
The past few months, as I have been humbled, unlike any other time in my life, by a number of circumstances, I realized that God even uses our sins to bring Himself glory. After all, our sin and doubt are the only things we bring to the table in the gospel. Again, we bring NOTHING before God except our sins and our doubts, which He wipes away and replaces with the righteousness of Christ. I think of Isaiah 64:6, which likens our good deeds to filthy rags (read: menstrual rags in the original language). Is he overstating the filthiness of our situation? No. Name one good thing you have done that was 100% pure of pride, selfish gain, and recognition. We cannot earn anything from God.
If you are in one of those seasons with me; bound by sin and broken and weary, know this: God uses all things for the good of those who love Him. Even our sin. Even our addictions. Even pain and suffering and grief. No one put it better than Brennan Manning:
Do you believe that the God of Jesus loves you beyond worthiness and unworthiness, beyond fidelity and infidelity—that he loves you in the morning sun and in the evening rain—that he loves you when your intellect denies it, your emotions refuse it, your whole being rejects it. Do you believe that God loves without condition or reservation and loves you this moment as you are and not as you should be? Because none of us are as we should be.
He knows you.
He sees you.
He loves you.