Sunday, May 29, 2016

Things We Don't Need To Carry in Our Hearts

...because Jesus carried them to the cross.
"SINCE therefore the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself LIKEWISE partook of the same things, that through DEATH He might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the DEViL, and deliver all those who through FEAR of death were subject to LIFELONG slavery. For surely it is NOT ANGELS that He helps, but He helps the offspring of Abraham. Therefore He had to be made like His brothers in every respect, so that He might become a MERCIFUL and FAITHFUL high priest in the service of God, to make PROPiTiATION for the SINS of the people. For because He Himself has SUFFERED when tempted, He IS ABLE to help those who are being tempted." (Hebrews 2:14-18)
I have a hard time letting go of control. I suppose I'm what some would label a "Type A" personality, in this culture that claims to disregard labels. I read somewhere a long, long time ago, probably in a Psychology textbook in college, that people who are clinically depressed have a more accurate assessment of the control they have over things like their bodies, their families, their kids, their wealth, their future... And it depresses them. Reality depresses us. "Healthy" or "normal" people are--at least slightly--deluded. (Hey, I didn't write the textbook).

OK whatever. I should, at the very least, be able to control my own body, right? Right? RIGHT??

Oh so very wrong. And that fact bothers me to no end because I get it stuck in my head that if only I could control my body, then I could control everything else, too. And just when I think I've given up the fight and "owned" my... self (I guess), something snaps in my brain and I'm up all night lamenting the fact that I can't work, that I can't exclusively breastfeed my baby, that I can't always get on the floor and play with my kid, that I can't take her to church every week, that I can't take her to the park every nice day, that I need medication, that I'm in pain all the time, that I'm tired, that I'm distracted by all these "thats," that there is absolutely NOTHING I CAN DO ABOUT ANY OF IT!

I don't need things to be perfect, but I would like them to be bearable.

Reality is depressing. I am not a perfect Mom, not by a longshot, and even though nobody is, I know a lot of Moms out there are a whole lot closer to the mark than I am because while they've got their crosses, they've also got the healthy body to carry them. >>>And now I have to take a deep breath and think about Jesus, NOT about how I compare to other Moms who are living under different circumstances.<<< Jesus had absolute control of Himself and His circumstances, and He allowed the chaos to consume Him. He could have smote the crowds of people who were crucifying Him, saved Himself and established a New Kingdom right then and there. He could have sent all those who didn't march in line to the "lake of fire the burns with sulfur," and made the world a perfect place (Revelation 19:20)But He didn't. He didn't defeat evil with might, even though He possessed that might in spades. He defeated it with weakness. He submitted to it unto death.

He who did not deserve to die, for the sake of those who did.

So, swallow hard, lift your weary head and heave a heavy sigh. Give up some responsibility, that guilt, that shame you carry in your heart because you're not the Mom you wanted to be and fight the good fight, not the meaningless one (1 Timothy 6:11-21). It's not YOU against The World: it's CHRIST against The World for YOU. He owned that chaos all right, now follow His lead and do the same. Whenever you feel bogged down by things you don't need to carry in your heart, set them down at the foot of the cross. That's where they all ended up anyway, defeated by the very same weakness you and I know so well.

"But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith." (1 Timothy 6:11-12a)