I rationalize. A lot. I think I’m a unique individual whose experiences are just so different that no one can possibly understand. I make plans for every aspect of my life; I make schedules at the beginning of each quarter for every single day so I know what events/meetings I have to go to and what work I have to get done. I have a detailed plan for my four years in college so I know exactly what classes to take to be able to double major and minor and still graduate on time. I know I want to take a gap year to do missions before going to law school. I’m not really sure when it got this bad; I definitely didn’t plan like this in high school. I’ve gotten more and more obsessive about my future as I’ve gotten older. And I don’t like that.
‘God, You don’t understand. I have to take all these classes [so I can seem like I’m busy all the time]. I have to go to law school [or I won’t amount to anything]. I have to have my schedule planned out [because I can’t risk getting behind in life]. I have to plan this and do everything by myself [because I can only depend on myself].’ I make excuses about everything I do, refusing to allow God into this controlling nature I have. How can that be, if He is to be Lord of my life? Perhaps He isn’t just yet.
Lazarus was resurrected from death, foreshadowing Jesus’ own resurrection. Jesus knew Lazarus would die, but He also knew he would live, reassuring Martha that her brother ‘will rise again’ (John 11:23). Later, Mary cries to Jesus over her brother’s death as well, and ‘when Jesus saw her weeping and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, He was deeply moved in His spirit and greatly troubled…. Jesus wept’ (John 11:33, 35). Jesus understands us perfectly. He is not some distant Creator who is unable to understand every struggle we go through, despite how I often tell myself that He will never understand. I clearly see a sorrowful, empathetic Jesus who really loved Lazarus and was mourning over him, even though He knew he would be resurrected. Not only did He loved Lazarus, but He loved Mary and Martha as well (John 11:5). He is our Father who feels the same pain that we feel, the same joy that we feel, when we bring it all to Him. As a child, I would complain to my mom about a bad grade or a difficult swim practice, and even though she always knew it would be okay in the end, I know she felt my pain and would wallow with me in the moment. How much more must our Heavenly Father feel that same pain we feel.
Jesus understands me. He understands you. No matter what we may think, He sees everything, and it pains Him that something troubles us. He knows exactly how hard it is for me to give up control, so He has different expectations for me than He would for someone else. I think I forget that a lot of times, and end up thinking He expects me to be further along in my journey of letting go; when that happens, I end up distancing myself further from Him as I feel like I fail Him over and over again.
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin [Hebrews 4:15]. When we’re honest with God, He will not just turn us away. He gives us yet another second chance. He loves us in spite of all our flaws. All we have to do is just run to Him. That, however, is the hardest part.
Oh heart of mine, come back home. You’ve been too long out on your own. And He’s been there all along watching for you down the road. So come home running, His arms are open wide. His name is Jesus, He understands. He is the answer you are looking for. So come home running just as you are. [‘Come Home Running’ – Chris Tomlin]