By Rachel Gardner
We all want our lives to be neat and pretty. We want easy. We want fun. We want happy. We want everything. But life doesn’t work that way now does it? Life is messy and scary and abrasive. There is ebb and flow in all we do: our friendships and relationships, where we live and work, and who we are.
Over the past few years I have experienced some powerful moments of rejection, from social groups in college, co-workers, and even friends. They were, and are, extremely difficult to recall and leave me with burdensome feelings of shame, guilt, and inadequacy.
I am learning (because, trust me, I don’t have it all figured out) that we can’t be everything for everyone, nor can we meet the unreasonably high expectations we create. Thankfully I have fellow believers and friends who talk through these feelings with me and remind me of what Scripture says is true.
Jesus said, “Come to me all who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). I don’t know about you, but there are times the burdens seem so crushing, and I just don’t know how to shake them off.
And perhaps that’s the point. It’s in this place of helplessness that I come to realize only God can lift those burdens for me.
One of my absolute favorite passages in the Bible that brings me to my knees (literally and figuratively) is Hebrews 4:16: “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
We have no need to shy away from coming to God with our brokenness, shame, or any other feelings on the scale from happy to sad. He waits to bestow grace and mercy upon us when we’re hurting if only we choose to turn to Him and not our own perceived strength. May we remind ourselves of this gift and rejoice in the blessing.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
God is the giver of many gifts, grace being the greatest of them. Grace is His gift that we simply reap the benefits of should we choose to accept it. When we accept God’s grace, He frees us. We no longer have to wade around in the mire of those burdens.
If Jesus shows us that type of selfless love, the kind that gives grace upon grace (John 1:16), we should remind ourselves of this grace when we fall short, so that we don’t feel trapped by failure, but rather relish in the fact that Christ forgives us, knows we fail, but fiercely loves us still. So, friends, let’s draw near to the throne of grace.