Thursday, December 26, 2013

Ready or Not

Today's post is inspired by my "friend" Katie, who moved to Uganda in her teens and has since adopted 13 girls. Her day-to-day life is very different from mine, but so often her posts speak to me exactly where I am, a world away. She wrote about not feeling "ready" for Christmas with 13 children and about a hundred other mouths to feed, but that this reminds her of the God who came into our world in real time-- as a baby in a dirty manger, when Bethlehem was just not ready to host him-- and how that's just the point. Can anyone ever be "ready" for God to show up? God comes to us as we are, where we are, ready or not: 

His perfect timing, now. Now is where He has called us. And we are just not ready yet. We need to clean up the house a bit and pray a little more and seek more counsel and we don’t know how to do that yet and oh, we have our excuses. And God says, “I’m here now, and I am ok with the mess because I am here for the messy.”

This year, I've been feeling lots of "not ready." Not ready to graduate; not ready to leave my new home; not ready to face whatever is next; not ready to say goodbye to my grandmother; not ready to care for a parent with cancer; not ready to actually take on the responsibility of shepherding a congregation and helping them to grow toward Christ. And yet, God has moved me toward and through each of these things, ready or not: 

This new season looms and I don’t know what is next. But He doesn’t need me to be ready for this season because He is ready. He just needs me to be clinging to His feet.

What kind of "not ready" are you? Maybe you are interested in this God-who-came-near, this Jesus; maybe you want to come near Him too, but you just don't feel ready yet. Maybe you're waiting until you kick that bad habit or get your worst sins behind you; maybe once you get "the fun" out of your system or when more of His words make sense to you; maybe you're waiting until He explains Himself for the pain you subconsciously hold Him responsible for; or maybe you're waiting until you feel worthy to even approach Him with those questions and feelings. 

Wherever you are, I hope this helps: I've been following this Jesus for the last twenty years, and I still don't feel ready. I still have unanswered questions, unexplained pain, and un-kicked bad habits. I still have plenty of reasons to not feel worthy to approach Him at all, much less call Him my own. And yet, that's the whole point. The God-who-came-near is the God who emptied Himself of all, in order to meet us where we are in real time: 

He makes Himself very least, no more status or opportunity than an easily overlooked infant in the slums where I spend so many hard hours. Very least so that He can commune with the very most desperate – you and me. He doesn’t mind that I am not ready yet and He doesn’t mind the wretched condition of my heart or the stench of my sin. God’s time is now and He enters into the mess, ready or not.

Read Katie's whole post here

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