I sit on my bed. Joy. Finally. After weeks of hard work and endurance and patience and tears I finally have climbed another flight of stairs and made it a little bit higher.
I have felt failure so well in my life. I have felt pity and anger and depression and sadness.
Joy on the other hand has a hard time finding me. Between the hurt, the tired, the worn parts of me, only through little tiny cracks has joy made it through, and even then the joy has been small and subtle.
Am I really a Christian? I ask myself this because aren't most Christians happy? Don't they all have joy? Don't they jump to worship songs and smile during preaching, nodding their heads and underlining their Bible's?
But what did Jesus' life look like?
He was called a man of sorrows. I wonder what made Him so sorrowful? Was it the sin of other people? The lack of value they felt for themselves and/or others? The fact that they just couldn't see how much God loves them and cares for them and wants them despite their failures?
Maybe not. Maybe.
Can I be honest? Those things listed above are what bring me sorrow. My sin. The lack of value I see for myself. The lack of value I see for others. It's hard. It's hard to see sin because it's ugly and cruel to our hearts and to our lives and to others and to God. It's hard to believe we have value and are loved by God when He sees our sin and knows how disobedient we are.
But He does see value. He is the Creator of the universe so how can we say we don't have value when He made us?
One amazing thing I have learned just recently thanks to Jefferson Bethke's new book, It's Not What You Think (review coming soon), is that sin did not come first. Our identity does not start wrapped in sin. Our identity from the very beginning and even now starts with being made in the image of God. Sin came after Genesis 1 and we know Genesis 1 came first so we must follow the Word and the truth saturated in it.
So I sit in this chair and I dwell on being made in the image of God. How does one made in the image of God act? Think? Love? Live?
Like the One in whose image we are made in. We are made to be little images of the God who made us.
His love is endless.
"Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever." - Psalm 136:1
So we have endless ways to show love.
His mercy is new every morning.
"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness."
So every morning we have new mercies to receive and give.
He is love.
" Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love." - 1 John 4:8
So we come to love Him more every day because He loves us and then we go and love others.
You have value and worth. Joy will find you even when sin has drowned it out. Even when the dark has seemingly overcome you. It hasn't. It won't. Hold on, friend.
Live in the image you were created in.
Live in God.