I am struggling
Colleen Carroll Campbell was the second keynote speaker during the Dynamic Women of Faith conference this past weekend. Her talk focused on the struggle of perfectionism, especially in our spiritual lives.
One thing I always admired about her books and talks is she is very raw and straight to the point. She has this way of gently challenging you. And then she hit me with this..."A refusal to trust in God's love pains Him more than sin."
That one really made me think for a moment because at first it didn't make sense to me. There is only one thing that makes God angry...and that is sin because of what it does to us. It literally breaks the relationship between Him and us. I always felt that sin was what hurt God the most.
But then I tried to bring it to a more human way of understanding it. If someone you love very much wrongs you, it hurts. But picture that same person simply coming up to you and telling you that they do not accept or trust your love, and quite frankly don't want it. I have a feeling the second situation would leave a deeper wound in your heart than the first one.
We all make mistakes and our actions can hurt people, but when we make a deliberate choice to refuse someone's love who cares for us deeply...that hurts deeper.
It is very different from saying "God I want to trust in your love, but I am struggling." Here there is that desire to receive God's love. When we say "God I refuse to trust in your love" there is no desire to receive at all. It is a direct choice to not accept. A refusal is very different from a struggle.
This is something that I have seen many times in my past, where I made a refusal to accept and trust God's love. It always left me feeling completely empty, lifeless. Repenting from that I was able to come to God saying, "Lord, I desire your love and I am deeply sorry for the times that I pushed it away and refused it. Help me trust you more and be open to your love." This doesn't mean I don't still struggle with it, but I want to make the choice to desire God's love and receive it. Every time I have, that emptiness became filled, and that life was poured back into me.
As we slowly come closer to this culminating time at the end of Lent, we will reflect on the greatest act of love God made for us: Christ's death on the cross, giving His life for us.
I leave you with one simple, but blunt question:
Will you accept that love that was poured out for you on the cross...or will you refuse it?