I don’t know where to begin to tell the story of my life these days. I find myself thinking of my grandmother’s old house. After my dear Aunt Splinters went to be with Jesus the house had to be cleaned out. More than sixty years of life filled that dwelling. Things were hidden away in drawers, cabinets, closets as well as the attic upstairs.
At first it was fun. Many treasures were concealed in the walls of that residence that had held those I dearly loved. We had no idea of the task that lay before us. We began with the noticeable things. We gathered our trash bags and made our piles. As we went through each room we chose our favorite things. Once the apparent things were divided, the deep cleaning began. As drawers were opened, inside each container, treasures lay tucked away under garbage.
It was tedious to say the least. You couldn’t just grab up a handful. You might throw out something of value. Slowly we had to finger our way through, recovering the precious, tossing the trash.
It symbolizes my life these days.
Years of rubbish in theology lay mixed into the valuables of truth that fill my mind. After all I had prided myself on being a good student seeking to have all the knowledge I could gather. I had no idea it would be my demise. Gently, these days, Jesus is taking it all in His hands, sifting the wheat from the tares.
I’ve been overwhelmed at the realization of refuse that lay hidden in the walls of my soul. I have come to realize how much I tried to manage sin by my willpower alone. It’s what I was told to do after all. “Will it, choose it and God will bring it about.” I wanted to do the right thing. I wanted to be the good girl. I wanted to forgive so I would be forgiven so I willed it, even using the words Jesus used. Yet all my religious diligence got me was unsettled accounts of pain.
I have been on the path of vigilant diligence for many years, pulling myself up by my bootstraps willing myself to do. I wanted more than anything to be found pleasing to the One who made me. If I did the proper thing maybe somehow that would make me and all that I had done, okay. It didn’t help that the teaching I received told me it was about what I did that mattered.
But here I am 54 years old, 32 years of knowing Him discovering for the first time. I’ve had it all wrong. God really does do it all. I do absolutely nothing but run to Him.
Resentments are being exposed all over the place these days; rubbish amidst the treasures. In those moments I am finding a new way, a new release as I run to the One who overcame hell. “Jesus, I have been hurt.” “Jesus I have hurt another.” “I need you to reconcile all this.” “It’s too much for me.” “I cannot, nor am I willing to try to will anything into place.” “I am letting go.” “Will you take care of this?”
It sounds so simple. Why have I made it so complex? It has cost me so much I now see.
Somewhere I got lost after that moment of trusting Him with my sins for salvation. I got caught up in the life of the willed self-effort of the diligent striver. It’s a subtle thing you know. After all I was told I was supposed to do something. God had His part, I had mine.
It’s not what I’m seeing these days.
Jesus in me is the hope of glory. He was made to conquer sin, mine, yours, theirs. It is He who forgives. It is He who makes all things right. Nothing I do will ever alter that, nothing. I will never will anything into being. I will not reconcile one thing, ever.
The truth is. God does it ALL. It is why Jesus said once for all, “it is finished.” It is why He conquered sin, death, hell and the grave.
I am learning how to live in that finished work. It’s the dawning of a new day. Each day mercies await. The mercies that say, “let go, for I have done and will do all that must.. be.”
It is all.
It is enough.
©copyrighted:2012: Julie L. Todd