Text: 1 Corinthians 2:1-5
I had a rotten day today, seriously rotten. And there were no huge catastrophes or any major incidents to point at and say, "Oh yes, that would make anybody's day bad." No, I just had one of those days where my mind is sunk, my spirit plummeted. Every little thing grated on my nerves. Kids needed something? Sounds like whining to me. Kids whine? Sounds like screaming. Kids ask for something? Definitely demanding tone in that voice. Kids argue? World War III in our living room. The littlest things were blown way out of proportion in my mind.
Guys, it started bad. I got out of bed an hour later than normal and fell asleep face down on the table while trying to pray and read the Word. Not kidding. All the farther I made it as a mother was to get the kids out of their rooms when they woke up before heading to the couch to fall asleep. I had had my cup of coffee and got almost seven hours of sleep the night before but still could not peel my eyes open. To put it lightly, I failed miserably as a mother, as a wife, as a person today. And get this. . . I even took a pregnancy test to make sure there was nothing else on which to blame my funk. (If you know us well, that should be medically impossible, but always best to make sure. Oh, and it was negative.)
All this to say, I'm a miserable and selfish person. And I'm capable of straight up ugliness. I did not want to be a mom today. I did not want to have to answer to anyone or clean up after anyone or simply care for anyone. I barely wanted to care for myself. I was selfish, unmotivated, lazy, angry, bitter, resentful, and even somewhat sad. In and of myself, I'm all of these things on a daily basis. I do not have it all together. I do not have all the answers. I do not have eloquent and beautiful things to write. I am rotten.
And I don't believe I'm the only one who knows this to be true about one's self, simply because I know a lot of people. I know as some of you are reading this, you're already dismissing this as "normal," that we all have those days. But isn't that telling? If being a miserable and selfish person is "normal", isn't that telling of our condition as humans? That something is broken in us? See, we like to say that deep down we think people are good, but we're not. When left to ourselves, we become selfish, unmotivated, lazy, angry, bitter, resentful, sad. We don't seek to do good to others and live selfless lives. We are not good. Sure there are those who seem good, but I bet they would confess having these same feelings. If even those whom we consider "good" confess they are truly rotten, we have to admit we are broken and in need of something more.
So here's the thing I'm trying to say. By outward appearances, I think many would consider me "good." I say a lot of right things, write some nice words, and do some kind things every now and then. But none of those things is good enough to fix this brokenness in me. See, I know that no matter how much I do for others, how selfless I seem to be living, unless I find a way to fix this brokenness, it doesn't matter. My "goodness" cannot fix me, and it cannot fix others. It can temporarily bring happiness or relief, but we are all left in this muck together without someone to save us.
And that is where Jesus comes in. See, God created us to be in perfect fellowship with Him. That was broken when Adam and Eve sinned and desired control over their own lives. And every man and woman since has fought the same fight against God to control his/her own life and has worked to earn some sort of divine favor by being "good" enough. But that's what's so beautiful about this sweeping story of God's. It's that he tells us, "You can never be good enough. In fact, you have to be perfect, holy, in order to be in my presence." Doesn't really sound like good news, does it? That's because it's only part of the good news. If you read the Bible, you find all these stories of sacrifices and offerings that priests make to appease God's wrath and seek forgiveness of sins for man's brokenness, and it doesn't seem to make sense, unless you read with the end in mind.
The end of the story is that Jesus comes to offer grace and salvation to broken humanity. To pull us out of the muck of our miserable and selfish existence. He does this by offering his perfect life as a sacrifice to take on the full wrath of a perfect and holy God so that those who believe in him and call on him as savior and Lord can be fixed of their brokenness. No more trying to be "good" enough or having faith in my goodness to try to fix me.
And that's the beauty of knowing Jesus. That when I have a rotten day and fail as a mother, as a wife, as a person, I know that there is always grace. That all I have to pray is one word, "Grace," "Jesus," and I'm covered. That tomorrow starts anew and there's grace. I do not have to have all the answers, be in control, use eloquent words. He who is in me is greater than he who is in the world. I do not have to be overcome by my brokenness.
"And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God's power." 1 Corinthians 2:1-5 (NIV)
Linking up with #SheReadsTruth #SheSharesTruth Lent series.