I am convinced that the thing we most fear isn’t rejection but TOTAL ACCEPTANCE. There I said it. At least that is what my fear was…and sometimes still is. You see for me growing up in a religious environment where it was suggested and subliminally ingrained in our minds was that no matter what we did, how many hours we prayed and fasted it was never enough. I still felt dirty. God was still Holy on His blessed mountain and I was still a million miles away. If I was going to make it to Heaven surely it was on the off chance that God was focused on Jesus waving His bloody-nail imprinted hands drawing the attention to Himself so I could slip through the pearly gates. Then it happened…then He happened to me. About 7 or 8 years ago it was my time, my turn to be wrecked by Grace. I was on the Heavenly Hit List and He revealed Himself in me, to me. The Scandal of the Cross turned over all my tables of religious failed efforts on bettering myself. He showed me an aggressive unrelenting Love that simply would not let me continue on living with the roller coaster religion of one day being up and feeling loved followed by the next day of me feeling like I was not good enough for Him. You see the Good News is that we have ALWAYS been more than enough for Him.
So why do we often respond with fear in the face of total Acceptance and Love?? I am sure there could be numerous reasons. But at the core of it all I believe it all comes down to Trust. I remember when God whispered in my ear and said,”Joel, all of the problems that you think you have can be taken care of by simply trusting me.” I mean wow! To think of a God that is so in tune with all of our emotions and so intricately woven in our day to day activities, that He always wants to make Himself known in every area of our lives. I will never forget when Heather my wife said to me,”I want to know all of you.” Honestly scared the sh*@ out of me. I could feel fear surrounding me. Why?? Because for Heather to know all of me would involve me being VULNERABLE. And that is where for many the rubber meets the road. Not only with relationships with loved ones but with God Himself. We have become experts in hiding…hiding behind religious masks and behind tough exteriors of independence. But through His love He is still coming down to us searching and calling us by our name like He did with Adam. Where are you?? Who told you you where naked?? Who has said that you are not good enough for me?? Who has filled your head with nonsense and saying that I am not more than enough for you?
My question is: Will you let Him in? Will you Trust that He is good? Will you let Him love you?