sin-sick mark 2-17A deep peace settled on me this morning, as I read these words of Jesus, ” I’m here inviting the sin-sick, not the spiritually fit.”  Mark 2:17 (The Message)

“Oh right… “I whispered into my weariness, “He came for me just as I am… sin-sick, spiritually flabby, filled with doubt, clinging to faith.”

Whew, I don’t have to pretend to be any different than who I really am…and neither do you!

Jesus came in response to our need for Him, but He was motivated by His great Love for us.  That shifts things a bit.  I am profoundly aware of my need, it makes me uncomfortable and squirmy, a bit like control top tights, cutting into my muffin top.   Stay with me a minute.

Control top anything, Spanx, body shapers, work to smooth out the lumps, bumps and not so pretty places, so we look sleek and stunning – all cleaned up, sucked in and polished.   I think this is often how we approach God.

We shimmy and scramble into our spiritual spanx and try get it all together before we come to Him – hoping the ridges and rolls, the spiritual flab doesn’t  show.

Somehow we have tricked ourselves into thinking this will make us more acceptable, lovable and maybe even a bit more deserving of forgiveness and blessing. Friends, we have it backwards.  Jesus sees it all, the good, the bad, the flabby.  and says, that is “Why I came.”  Our sin doesn’t surprise or repel Jesus.

In fact, our sin sickness caused Him to draw near because He loves us, and say, “I will handle this.  “I will cover your, pettiness, jealousy, self-absorption, over indulgence, doubts, worry, dishonesty, laziness, perfectionism, control issues, addictions, fury, and fears with My blood. I will take the weight of them and their  destructive nature,  that erodes  the saint I created you to be.  And,  not only will I carry your sin sickness, but with the cross, I will cover it, so your sins are no more… will you let Me?

Gulp.  He sees it all- our brokenness, messiness, our sins… and in response to all He sees, Jesus draws closer, longing to take our burdens, forgive our sins, heal our sin-sickness just because He loves us.  Like a momma who will take bullet for her beloved child, Jesus steps into the chaos, the destruction, the death sin brings and owns it for us. Freeing us to just BE… forgiven, loved and open to what living healed looks like.

Imagine letting go of all your spiritual spanx and stepping into His forgiving and loving arms… And resting there. How does it feel?

Peace and hope flooded in when I paused to picture myself in that moment.

Peace and hope…that we can stop pretending, shed the quest for spiritual fitness, and sink into the place of being loved.

Young children don’t work for their mom’s love… they assume it is an IS – ever present, always available, unfailing -even after the 2 two year olds tantrum, the 3 year olds spilled milk, the 4 year olds disobedience… they come to the one who loves them with an expectancy to be loved, simply for being your child.

This is a picture I often call to mind, when I  am hesitant to approach God in my messiness, and my sin sickness.  Being a mom has taught me volumes about God’s love for me. My momma heart reflects a fraction of the love God has for me and for you, His precious daughter.  This is why He came… because of His deep, unfathomable, unchangeable love for us.

Yes our need is great.  Yes we struggle with the depth of our need, we want to hide it, clean it up, work on getting better…but today, I invite you to acknowledge your need, maybe even embrace it, and come…

Come to Jesus, because not only does He know all about our spiritual flabbiness and sin-sickness, He Loves You and longs for you to come close… and rest in His love.

She Reads Truth: Lent 2015 Day 7

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