It is clear to me that much of my slowness of progress towards becoming more fruitful is due to a sense of low self worth. I envision, I rejoice. Then I fold and crumble within. I become discouraged and disempowered. Self-doubt screams “Who do you think you are? You can’t do this! You’re not good enough”.
Walter Brueggemann, a renowned theologian writes of a schema of the spiritual life. He states that spirituality is our walk with God through recurrent patterns of:
- being securely oriented
- being painfully disoriented
- being surprisingly reoriented
I have found this to be true in my own life. I feel centred in His will and purpose and have a clear sense of presence and purpose. At other times it seems I have lost my way. I am disoriented, looking for answers. It seems that God is not listening or speaking, as though He is far away. I feel as though I am floundering. I’m in need of rescue. I cry out to God in desperation. Eventually breakthrough comes, like sunshine after rain and I am refreshed and renewed as God shed light along my path once more. It is always in some way surprising. Joy returns.
It is encouraging to know that this ebb and flow of spiritual life is completely normal and is the way God works in our hearts to shape and form us. Internal struggle arouses in us a search and pursuit of God, a drawing near. We are reminded of our poverty of spirit and our need of God. Having come through these periods we are refreshed and strengthened, our convictions and our learnings are embedded into the fabric of our lives resulting in greater confidence in God and His plan for our lives.
God loves us and that love is demonstrated in sending His Son to die for us so that we can be reconciled to Him. This mighty act of love shows us the value God places upon our lives. His desire for relationship with us. We are worth something to Him. Worth is bestowed upon us by God. We are valuable because we exist and our worth is not earned. Worth is undeserved yet freely given.
God consistently cares for us and is at work in our lives for good. We should trust this. I read this wonderful prayer this morning by Phillip Bennet:
“My God, I have feared joy. I have held back from the fullness of life, bound by invisible threads of old loyalties. I have imagined that You begrudged ne joy and fulfilment, that You would intentionally disrupt my happiness, stifle my freedom, rein in my delight. Now that I see You have always been calling me forth like Lazarus from the tomb: “Untie him and let him go!” You desire the fullness of life for me, abundant, overflowing. Unbind me, free me for joy, that I may be fully alive. You have held nothing back from me. Help me to hold back nothing in this life, live it to the fullest, to drink deeply of joy, Your joy which You desire to share with me forever. Amen.”
Dear friends, may we always be reassured of the goodness of God and His desire for us to enjoy relationship with Him forever. Let us fully open our hearts to all He desires for our lives, confident that we are a person of worth to Him. Amen.
Go forth in the confidence of His love and goodness.
Have you ever struggled with a sense of not being good enough? How did you overcome discouragement and move forward in God’s love?