For a moment of bravery I ask Jesus to give me His heart. I imagine watching Him break away my stone heart and place within me a new heart. It feels strange, especially when I begin to go about my day with Someone else's heart. 

Freedom in Failure

I met with one of my RAs, and he said, "I have felt a lot lately like I have been letting everyone down."

I asked him how it was he thought or felt like he was letting me down.  He said he just felt like he was failing at stuff.

"Maybe I shouldn't be doing this, I think!"

"Now THAT would let me down, " I said.

I continued to let my RA know he has not let me down, and the reason is because I expect him to fail.  He will make plenty of mistakes and poor choices as an RA, and I expect him to do so.  I told him that by knowing this, he will now be a better RA.

My walk with Christ soared once I realized God expected me to fail.  Why?  Because him expecting me to fail means he does NOT expect me to be perfect.  Now THAT is good news.

There is freedom in knowing God expects me to fail and loves me despite my mistakes and trips. There is freedom because now I can take more risks.  I can go after my faith without abandon or fear.  I no longer have to maintain the perfect Christian facade.  I can now dive into my faith head first.

"But you still make mistakes!"

Yes, I certainly will, and those mistakes will go challenged.  Each poor choice, mistake and failure will come with its fair share of conviction and consequence. There will be these mistakes that come along, but God expects those and loves me despite them.

Brennan Manning writes, "God expects more failure out of you than you do."

Today, I have realized how freeing that really is.  So my RA could face confrontation when it happens knowing I expect him to fail from time to time and learn from them instead of obsessively side-stepping them. He can go all out and be willing to take risks that some choices may go wrong, but that's okay.  He does not have to be perfect or the best RA ever.  I don't expect him to be.

I told him, "You won't let me down by failing.  The only way you will let me down is if you give up."

I believe God expects more failure out of us than we do.  So we don't let God down when we fail, make mistakes or ask questions.  I think we let God down when we just give up, because when we give up we aren't even willing to fail.

Where's the faith and trust and risk in that?

Why rest for the weary is so hard

"Come to me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest." - Matthew 11:28 Sounds great! Why is it so hard to do?

We all have moments when our spirit could really use a rest. We all have moments when our hearts have been bested by our sin, our struggles, and the general beating that life often has to offer. We all have moments when we feel attacked by our past, held down by our present, and fearful of our future. Some of us live weary and heavy-laden, and this passage sounds like the most amazing freedom. Our hearts jump at the possibility.

But for the most part, our hearts remain weary and rest remains a "possibility"; never a reality. Why is it so hard to actually come to God? Why is coming to Jesus for rest so difficult?

First of all, it's humiliating. We feel like peasants before God; utterly unworthy of the rest he offers. We see ourselves in the reality of our filth. We look at our sin and our predicament, and it paralyzes us. We stay back and grovel just outside of Jesus' presence because we know we are unworthy, but we have convinced ourselves we are worthless, and there is a difference. We stay just outside of Jesus' open arms, which offer our weary hearts rest because we fear rejection. We fear ourselves to be too filthy, too broken, and too far gone.

But Jesus still calls out to us, "Come to me, all who are weary and heavy-laden." So he knows our predicament. He sees our filth. He realizes what has worn us down and languished our soul, and he STILL calls out to us to come to him.

It is only hard to come to Jesus for rest because we would rather stay in sorrow than to accept God's GRACE that says, "I know you are weary, filthy, and broken, and I love you so much. Please come to me, and I will love the hell out of you."

When I forgot all the wrong I have ever done

"To whom shall I turn for the gift of your coming into my heart so that I may forget all the wrong I have done, and embrace you alone, my only good?" - Augustine Where SHOULD I go; what should I do to really forget all the wrong I have done? Augustine poses a very piercing question. How do I embrace God alone? I have dedicated a lot of my life toward embracing God, but I have a horrible time with consistency. I say "a lot of my life" because of the many pockets of inconsistency. I only wish I really knew how to hold fast to God, to embrace him enough to forget all the wrong i have done.

Seriously! I am sitting here wondering what it would be like to actually forget all the wrong I have done, and frankly, it seems unimaginable. I cannot imagine that kind of freedom. What would it look like; what would it feel like to forget all the wrong you have done and to fully embrace God, my only good? That sort of freedom would mean that my past would never come back to kick me where it counts. That means I would not linger when I HAVE done wrong; I would be quick to my only good. That means I would only run forward in life without cease.