When we’re tempted to withdraw with imperfection, God’s perfect love brings us back.
When I was younger, I considered myself to be a flexible, happy-go-lucky type of spirit. If there was a group outing at night to grab bite to eat, I’d always be the one with the “whatever’s good” vote. I’d often find myself waiting around while the others debated where we’d end up.
I discovered, however, because of a landscaping incident, that I may be a perfectionist. I think the perfectionist streak might have been latent or hidden, but age seems to have brought it to the surface.
My landscaper suggested that we create a “natural” border for the lawn we were putting in our backyard. I had wanted a very straight, clean line between the grass and the flagstone that would line the perimeter of the yard.
My experienced landscaper advised otherwise. “We can certainly do that, but I think it would look a lot more attractive with natural line. It would look too fake if it was perfectly straight.”
I didn’t want it to look fake, so I went with natural.
Boy, I regretted it. I was so upset after the work was done, I ripped the flagstone off to reallign the border. I was caught off guard at how much it bothered me. The yard as a whole was beautiful. But every time I’d look outside, my eyes would immediately zero in on that crooked edge!
Natural Isn’t Perfect
Natural sounded good. Who doesn’t want “natural”? But, it’s not perfect!
This small and insignificant landscape incident caused me to do a reality check.
How much do I trust in God’s love to come to him in my “natural” state?
Do I begin my prayers with my thoughts As-I-Am, or do I preamble with As-I’d-Like-To-Be?
Do I really believe Jesus is comfortable hanging out with me when I’m frail and needy? Or do I withdraw, holding myself together, with some home-made earthly glue?
God’s Love Perfects Natural
God’s words tells me otherwise. Jesus is very familiar with every part of me, especially the bits I want to hide. Why? Because He’s been there Himself:
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet was without sin.” Hebrews 4:15
It encourages me to know that Jesus knows how unnatural it is for me to come to him as I am. I know that the Holy Spirit prays for me during these moments because out of nowhere, I’ll be struck with how much God loves me, and how much I need Him.
And I go to Him. Not because I’m so great in any sense. But because God is great in His love for me.
God won’t leave us alone without love in our imperfections.
Thank God Jesus loves us that much.
“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us...There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear..” 1 John 4:16-18
I’m learning to fight my natural tendency to withdraw when I bump into my imperfections. I’m not perfect, but God’s love is.
How do you feel about your “natural” imperfections?
What do you think God feels about you, in your natural state, as you are?