But even Paul told us, "THREE TIMES I PLEADED WITH THE LORD TO TAKE IT AWAY FROM ME..." So I'm NOT the only one!!! Not that misery loves company but that one statement puts me in GOOD company in my book! Paul never fails to be both holy AND human. So it's comforting to know I'm not the only one who feels like I'm on a merry-go-round going nowhere.
I love to put myself in the shoes of the Gospel greats--Mary Magdalene, Peter, the adulteress, the woman at the well, Paul, and of course Jesus Himself. I love to see from their perspective and I learn soooo much from them. I often stand in those shoes and teach from the "who's who" perspective and watch as women begin to see themselves through new eyes. But you know--every once in a while, in the middle of my own struggles, their shoes just don't fit. So what to do?....
WWJD... Walk where He walked, talk like He talked, think like Him, BE more like Him. But sometimes in my humanness, that seems so impossible AND discouraging. If I were Jesus who knows the ending from the beginning I wouldn't be struggling in the first place, now would I?
I read a quote from Dallas WIllard today that caught my attention and reminded me that sometimes we need to turn things upside down or inside out. He said, "I am learning from Jesus to live MY life if He were I..." So maybe sometimes I need to turn it around. Instead of trying to put myself in His shoes, maybe I need to put Jesus with all His humanity and grace in mine. What if Jesus were a confused little girl, or a wounded young woman confused and hurt by people that should be trusted, a wife and mother trying to survive, or this older woman weary and worn, scarred and sometimes still bleeding? What if Jesus were me? What if He didn't look ahead to the ending but faced my experiences, my hurts, and my regrets from MY perspective?
And I suddenly remember the little girl in the laundry hamper with Jesus... When He held me tight and cried with me. He didn't always "change" things so I wouldn't hurt but He let me know I wasn't alone and He hurt too. And I realize that as big as God as, Jesus is just my size. He feels what I feel, hurts when I hurt, and cries when I cry. He even gets angry at injustice and meanness. He also rejoices when I rejoice, laughs when I laugh, and loves even more deeply when I love.
Sometimes I try to escape from my own life to go where He is in Scripture--Jerusalem, the Sea of Galilee, the Holy Land countryside where He walked and taught, even on Mt. Calvary. Those aren't bad places to find Him--I learn so much from Him there but sometimes I need to remember I don't have to go looking for Him. He is right here. He lives my life with me.... And He knows my heart. Then Grace covers it all and somehow makes the imperfect become perfect when He speaks peace to me, "In this world you will have trouble, but TAKE HEART! I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)