I’m very careful of myself in public – in fact, leaving the ranch can sometimes be so overwhelming I will avoid it altogether. Leaving the routine, the comfort and safety of the ranch – my hideaway – to face people, to be seen or worse, to be judged can sometimes feel like too much.
‘Fact is, over the years humans hurt me so that occasionally I avoided the species entirely. I’m glad to say those few seasons were short. And the older I get they become farther between.
Truth: I actually enjoy people as much as I adore my feather and fur friends.
Over these long winter nights I came to realize that this reluctance to leave, the instinct to hide is about my secrets:
- I desperately want to belong
- Sometimes shame seems to choke me
- My beloved family is a big, hot mess
- I’m broken
- I’m vulnerable
More important than anything else I may feel is what the Bible tells me:
“All y’alls messed up somehow. Ain’t nobody’s perfect. Nobody.” * Paraphrase mine.
The pivotal point here being All.
Some flaws are more visible than others is all. The strongest, most organized, confident and fashionable people are messed up somehow. That includes me! So my secrets are no more offensive to God than anyone else’s. “All” is everything Jesus took to the cross. All includes every single mistake, ill deed, every bad knee-jerk response, intentional or otherwise, victim and perpetrator. Every. Single. One.
More importantly, “..now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.”**
So, compared to God’s opinion of me nobody else’s matters. What’s more, I can dismiss my worst feelings and opinions of myself. When God looks at me, all He sees is Jesus. I can now focus on seeing myself the same way.
Sure, I realize this is a process. I’d been seeking out hiding places longer than I can remember. I still have so far to go to get an edge on seeking God’s truth first, but when I make Scripture my focal point and not my fears or feelings the sky’s the limit. My friends can vouch for that.
Do you ever get to feeling weighed down, tired of trying or reluctant to try again? Come on by Our Place and let God’s peace help you.
* “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.’ Romans 3:23, 24 (NLT)
** Romans 8:1 (NLT)
Images (except for chickens) courtesy Pixabay