When we’re tempted to withdraw because of 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 a group went out to grab a 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.
Caught Off Guard
My landscaper suggested that we create a “natural” border for the lawn we were putting in our backyard a couple years ago. I 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 a 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, did I regret it.
I was so upset after the work was done, I ripped the flagstone off to re-allign 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 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 us otherwise.
Jesus is very familiar with every part of s, especially the bits we 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.
Won’t Leave Us Alone
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?
Do it. Talk to God today, in your natural state. Just as you are.
Pull up a chair. I love company and enjoy hearing your thoughts. Click to share a comment.
** Don’t miss! ** If you are new to Faith Barista, I’d like to invite you to join me on my journey this month — 31 Days to Feed Your Soul. Click to subscribe by email and get each post in this series served up hot and fresh directly in your mailbox.
To catch up and read all the posts in this series —
God’s love is perfect, which means my love doesn’t need to be.
The song, “Just As I Am”, has been playing in my head for at least three days now. And Hebrews 4:15 and 16 is where God brought me this morning in His word, before I sat for a cup of Faith with you, Bonnie.
My own crooked landscaping has kept me from recognizing and receiving His love for entirely too long. I have allowed the enemy to speak over my life, when he has no authority and zero truth in anything that he says.
I belong to Christ…….messed up yard and all.
For years, my urge to be perfect and have everything perfect around me has led to quite a bit of frustration and disappointment. But I’m learning. God is constantly reminding me that He is the only perfect one in all of creation. So, when I see my less than perfect home (we have so many repairs to do right now!) or I have a not so perfect day, I rejoice in the Lord!
I am blown away by these thoughts today. Thank you so much for sharing.
It’s flooding season in the land of Cambodia and it’s not too bad in the city where I live. We can still manage to go around with only a little inconvenience. In other provinces, people lost their crops or possessions or unable to travel out of their village or home, etc.
A heavy rain or flood can cause inconvenience or become a safety challenge especially most of the guys from God’s ministry in this land travel by bicycles or motorcycles. I am being reminded that’s the imperfect country where God brought me to live since 1.5 years ago. In the past, a heavy rain would not cause any challenge to travel as that country has a great transport system or electricity would not be an issue but in this land, it’s very flexible and I learn to appreciate how fortunate I was before and now as well as He teaches me to count my blessings as He gives me many others things that He wants me to let go and allow Him to transform me into His likeness.
Praise the Lord that He brought us together as His people to worship Him and fellowship. And thank you Amazing God for reminding me today of your love, will and way are perfect. I continue to ask You to teach me to fully obey and surrender my life to You. You’re the only one who deserves All the Glory, Honor and Praise!
Thank you for another lovely brew, Bonnie :). God bless you abundantly.
Bonnie it seems that the Holy Spirit is working overtime… I love how God KNOWS me and my needs before I even do. Today’s sermon fell along these same thoughts and I cried throughout it remember the TRUTH of coming to God with all of me and my imperfections.
Thank you for all the encouragement.
I feel so peaceful here Bonnie. While God is refreshing my whole being, I come here and am all the more made new. Imperfectly perfect, natural…all these labels show me how much I can rest in needing him. It’s so beautiful to need Him. Good girl in rehab.
It’s like we sat at a cafe, had our coffees, and your life-words encouraged me and sent me on my way.
My imperfections and my mistakes catch up with me all the time, and I have to give myself a ‘time out’ to remember the amazing forgiveness God offers us. Like a loving parent, he loves us despite our imperfections and forgives us despite the mistakes we’ve made. That’s so hard to believe sometimes, especially when Satan regularly tries to corrupt that line of communication by bringing those feelings of doubt about our purpose and ability back to the surface whenever he can!
I put this message on my cell phone banner to help me remember to step back and trust as I’m going through a busy, stressful day…’Let God Lead’.
Such a simple 3 word message, but exactly what I need to remind myself to step back and breathe, allow a moment of calm to enter my mind so I can hear what God is trying to tell me to do. When I forget to do this my spirit is like a balloon that’s being held down by a heavy weight. I get unwound by the the stress and self doubt combination that this world weighs you down with.
‘Let God Lead’ reminds me to let him speak to me, even in my state of imperfection, and the weight is lifted so my balloon feels light and able to float again.
I am grateful for a heavenly Father whose love is unconditional.
Thank you, Bonnie, for this reminder! Your posts continue to stir my spirit. God Bless!