When you become overwhelmed with your failings...

Some days I look in the mirror and stare at myself.
I sit there and see the person that I am 
I think about the deepest darkest parts of my heart 
the thoughts and feelings that no one knows, except for me
& sometimes when I stop and look at myself if I'm completely honest
my heart sinks a little and I hate the person that I see 
sometimes I'm so overwhelmed with all of my failings 
all the ways I mess up and all of the ugly thoughts that roll
through my head throughout the day. 

"I wanted to love people better this week, yet I didn't
I wanted to be more intentional with my time, yet I failed to plan well
I wanted to be more prayerful, yet I spent the week depending on my own strength"
How can I be so sinful, how can I fail so many times?
I know that God loves me and is gracious with me, 
but sometimes I think that he has to get tired of me continuing to sin 
over and over and over again.

I mean I even still struggle with some of the same things that I did when I first came to Christ 
Why haven't I grown? Why am I such a failure? 
These thoughts constantly flow through my mind 
And when I let myself dwell on these thoughts I fall into despair
I don't think I'll ever arrive and I wonder what others would say 
if they saw what a horrible Christian I really am. 
I become defeated, weary and burdened down by the weight of my own sinfulness, insufficiency and failings 

It is in these moments that God tenderly whispers to me and simply says "Look Up"
He gently reminds me of how self-focused and self-centered I'm being 
That instead of being consumed with God I am being consumed with myself
That my eyes are only looking inward and I've failed to look outside of myself 
and see who God truly is. 

And when this happens I become so focused on who I am that I forget who God is.
I forget that God wants to take my mess and turn it into a masterpiece.
That his power is greater than ALL of my weaknesses
That his grace and love for me are so deep and wide that I cannot fully comprehend the depths of them. 
That he knows EVERY sinful thought and deed, all of my failures past present and future and yet he still chose me to be his beloved daughter. 
That it is through my weaknesses and inadequacies that God gets to show off and display his transforming grace, unending love and his ability and power to change hearts and lives!

So yes, I still mess up a ton and yes I still sin and fail 
But now my reactions to this knowledge changes 
instead of falling into despair and condemnation I get to run to my savior! 
I get to come to him in my weakness and learn how to depend on him in greater ways 
to learn to trust him when he tells me that HE is the one who began the good work in my heart 
 and HE promises that HE will finish it (Phil 1:6)! 
I get the opportunity to realize that I am empty and nothing without my savior 
and that makes his love and grace so much sweeter, it and makes me want to 
run to him and grow in depending on his power and strength instead of trying to do life on my own. 

And this, is such a better, sweeter place to be than in than depths of despair.
So friends take your eyes off of yourself and your shortcomings and place your gaze upon
Jesus, who is the author and perfecter of your faith. The one whose grace is sufficient for us and whose power is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9-12). 

"True sanctification is all about growing in humility, dependence and gratitude. Joy blossoms in our hearts not as we try harder and harder to grow, but as we see more clearly the depths of our sin and understand more fully our utter helplessness. Only then will we take our eyes off ourselves and look to Christ for all that we need in life and death. Only then will we truly cherish our savior and believe that we need him every minute of every day, and that without him we can do nothing (John 15:5)."

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