"...Who among us doesn't have sin or discouragement? Who among us doesn't fail? There are a million things we don't want to let anybody know about us, but He knows them all. And He is not discouraged about us..." ~ K.P. Yohannan, founder, Gospel for Asia
Confession time: I am an overachiever. And while there are a lot of good things that can be said for having that kind of drive, it can also be a very dangerous thing.
Being an overachiever means that, if I fail at something, or if I don't get something done on my to-do-list, I feel like I've failed for that day. It doesn't matter if I got five other things done which were really important. I'm unhappy with myself for not getting that one little thing done.
For almost the whole month of July, dipping into August, I've been struggling with some health issues, and looking back on it, I feel like this area of my life is what God was trying to teach me about. There have been so many days these past weeks where I've felt like a total loser because I couldn't get done as much as I wanted to get done. I would keep telling myself things like, "Come on, are you serious?! You can do better than that! You need to learn to mange your time better..."
And of course, there were bits of truth in that. There were days where I could have worked a little harder, where I wasted time watching an episode of Major Crimes or Suits or Pretty Little Liars. There were days where I honestly did not give it my all, where I let my illness be an excuse.
But the amazing thing is that, despite what we feel about ourselves, despite being failures and hopeless in our own eyes, God doesn't see us that way. We fail, we get discouraged, we have incredibly high standards for ourselves that we try to attain alone without God's help. But even though we're constantly messing things up, even though we start to think of ourselves as total losers, God never gives up on us. He's constantly working in our lives to mold us into what He knows we can be.
The idea that haunts me is that, while we put up a good image of ourselves, while we hide things even from our closest friends and families that we don't want them to know, for fear of rejection, God knows all of it. He knows in exact detail every horrible thing we've done, every time we messed up a commitment to Him or to someone else, every time we fell flat on our face because we thought we could do life without Him, and yet He. Still. Loves. Us.
Isn't that amazing?
I see myself as a life failure because I didn't get my birds' cages cleaned, and yet He doesn't see me that way. I think of myself as hopeless because I ignored a friend who was hurting to complete my own deadlines, and yet He doesn't.
God see us all as we are: sinners who are in desperate need of His grace. Broken people who He can make new.
Psalm 139 tells us that God knows exactly who and what we are. He knows each part of us, each wicked way, each sin we're particularly vulnerable to. And yet He doesn't give up on us. He hedges us all about, He is ever leading us, ever guiding us. He knows what our end will be. He knows that, even though we fall far from Him, He can make something beautiful out of it.
God's never finished with us, even when we're ready to throw in the towel. And unlike those "white lies"* we tell others so we look a little better, unlike those secrets we keep because we don't dare let others know how we truly are, God knows every little thing about us, and still loves us.
Pretty mind-boggling, huh?
*Come on, we all know they're just lies.