On Being Right

I want to be right. I love being right.

I love it way too much. I love it so much that I am afraid to ask questions, afraid to make bold statements–because what if I’m wrong??

When I’m saner I know that being wrong is really not that bad. How else are you going to learn? But so often I find myself desperately clinging to my right-ness.

And when the horrible realization comes that I am wrong–not just about one particular thing, but just plain wrong–it hurts.

I like knowing stuff. I like being able to understand it and explain it. I like it way too much.

So much that instead of just resting in the fact that God knows, again and again I strive to figure it out.

When I’m saner I know He knows and I’m content to trust Him. But so often I find myself pleading to know.

Lately God’s been showing me how much I’m wrong and how much I don’t know. It isn’t fun at all.

But it’s good.

Because when I am weak, then He is strong. As I let go of me, I gain more of Him.

I don’t really know how to explain it–how horrible and how wonderful this exchange is.

Even though we are gaining Him, and He is so good and so worthy and so glorious, it doesn’t change the fact that dying hurts. It doesn’t change the fact that it’s all by faith, and we can’t see, quite, all that is really happening–we don’t see the end. We don’t see, fully, why we must die, why our dreams must die. We only know that they must, if we are to have Him. And it hurts.

What does change it all is when we look at Him, and see that He does it all for love.

And that not only does He ask all–He gave all. He knows what it is like.

In times of my deepest distress, reading Isaiah 53 has been so much help.

He is despised and rejected by men,
A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.

But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.

Oh, what a difference it makes to have a Savior who suffered! He knows what it is like. And, even more astonishing–He did it for us! For you, for me. Even though we despised and rejected Him! Crazy.

So when He asks you to take a hard path–know that He really does know what it’s like, and He only does it for love.

Turn, in the trouble, the pain, and look with faith-eyes on Him, and trust that He does it all because He loves you and wants you to be holy. Holiness is not a bad thing. It is for our profit, for our good. What could be better than being freed from our sin, and being set apart for and to Him, the Lover of your soul?

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