Most of the times I find myself back in the dryness of the desert because I’ve let the world tell me that it’s where I belong. It starts innocently enough. I do something with some value, with some meaning, and when someone says, “Hey, good job!” I enjoy the hit. Yep, some people are addicted to drink and drugs, but for me? Approval and food are my drugs of choice most days.
So someone says something nice, and I want more. I want to hear what I do and how I do it matter. I start to act in ways that get me that approval and start to seek it out. And for a while the whole system seems to be working. I do good stuff, people say good stuff, and then I do more good stuff. And it works. Until it doesn’t.
Because the world stops cheering and reminds you pretty quickly about everything that isn’t so OK about you. The world has a long memory about your past, reminding you about all your failures and false starts. Maybe you were an addict, or lost your temper with your kids. Maybe you weren’t the kind of wife you wanted to be, or maybe there were people who you’ve hurt. The world is in the remembering business, but not really in the grace business.
That’s why we need to remind ourselves, and those around us, how God sees us. No matter where I’ve been or where I am today. Whether I’m in my addction or out of it. Whether I’ve loved my neighbor or pretended not to be home when they came knocking. God is the one who is in the grace business, and I need to remember what I look like to Him. Especially when I’m sitting in the middle of the desert.
Here are a couple of things that help me:
- Saturate myself with words of grace.Like the video, (Jason Gray – Remind Me Who I Am) I am God’s beloved. God leads with grace. Hang out with people who speak grace. If you currently hang out with people who use God’s word to hit you over the head, may I humbly suggest you find some new friends. Listen to music that deals with grace. Spend some time with kids (ones you like,) and remember this is how God sees you.
- Read about how God sees you. When I feel like God’s words are bouncing off my chest instead of penetrating my heart, I pull our Jesus Calling by Sarah Young (you can find it here at ChristianBooks.com ). This book speaks grace over me and talks to me as if God were siting directly across from me.
When you are in the desert place, how do you remind yourself of God’s abundant love, even when you don’t feel it.
She and her husband Roger are the parents of four young adults in San Jose, CA. When she’s not dating her husband or hanging out with her puggle Jake, Kathi is speaking at retreats, conferences and women’s events across the US.