“Abba, I belong to you.”
“Abba, I belong to you.”
The words of the song filled my ears as the music drifted up to the rafters of the church building. I added my voice to the others but my heart just wasn’t in it. My mind began to wander as I contemplated the fact that I belong to God.
That weekend I had been struggling with panic attacks and it had been hard just to function. As I looked around my church and saw all the “normal” people who didn’t struggle with anxiety, I felt sure that God was really proud of them but not so much of me. I was broken, faithless, and medicated, and they were strong, full of faith, and depending on God rather than pharmaceuticals to function.
I felt ashamed and I was certain that God was ashamed of me, too.
We all struggle with shame. As we cram another chocolate-laden cookie into out mouths, we are ashamed of our ever-burgeoning waistline and our lack of self-control. When we yell at our children, snap at our husbands, or utter cuss words at bad drivers, we are ashamed of our lack of love. And when we coddle our secret sin and indulge in it in private, shame is our loud-mouthed companion.
During that worship set, I felt like I was the lowest on the totem pole of believers in my church. Everyone else had it together. I did not.
It was in that moment of shame that God gave me a picture. In my mind, I was in an old-fashioned store, the kind you would find in a small hometown. There were beautiful glass display cases in the front of the store, facing the street and lining the sidewalk.
As I was in the store, it was if I were one of the goods on display there for customers to see. And because I was cracked and broken, I felt sure that I would be relegated to the clearance rack in the back room with all of the other unwanted and defective items. I felt that the store owner, God, was ashamed of me.
Have you ever felt like God was ashamed of you or that He would not be proud to be seen with you? Have you felt like a cracked, defective, disappointment?
As I wallowed in shame, in my spirit, I heard a
“NO! Your place is in the front display case.”
Tears filled my eyes as I imagined God creating a beautiful display for the front window of His store, with me being a part of it.
God was not ashamed of me. I was a not a “clearance rack” daughter. In fact, my Father was proud of me. How could this be?
He’s my Father. Me made me. He gives me grace. He loves me. And He has compassion on me.
God understands that we are weak. He understands that we struggle. He knows the pull of sin and the world upon us.
For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Hebrews 4:15 NASB
And instead of turning us away in our broken and cracked state, He asks us to draw near. He wants to help us.
Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16 NASB
When we are in need, we are beckoned to God’s throne of grace so that we can receive mercy and grace to help. God does not leave us broken and cracked, but He helps us to become whole again. He doesn’t banish us to the clearance rack because of our weakness, but He is a proud Father. He is not ashamed of us.
And in our weakness and brokenness, we don’t have to be ashamed either.
Paul wrote….And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 2 Corinthians 12:9 NASB
In our weakness, the power of Christ dwells in us. We are made strong. And friends, that’s nothing to be ashamed about.