I am 27 days out of surgery now and I’ve learned a couple things about myself…
- I’m a terrible patient. (Just ask my wife…she’s basically the only reason I’m still alive!)
- I don’t deal well with “resting.” (I naturally tend to define resting as a complete and utterly boring waste of valuable time.)
I’ve come to know that resting is important, but after 27 days of “rest,” I’m ready to do something. One of the most difficult pieces of this journey has been convincing myself that I’m valued and productive and worthy, even when I’m not “producing.”
I, and many people I know, tend to live life backwards. I place my identity in what I “do” instead of in who I “am.” It’s a somewhat natural tendency for men – although not necessarily a healthy one. If you ask my wife who she is, she’ll give you her name and then she’ll tell you she’s married to me and she’s a mom to a couple kids and, oh yeah, she works for a lawyer. Her identity is wrapped up in her most important relationships. Ask me though, and typically, I would say, I’m a preacher and a writer and I lead a bunch of students and, oh yeah, I have a beautiful wife and some great kids.
Here’s the problem: If I place my identity in what I do, but for some reason, I am unable to produce, my self-worth plummets and I find myself in a deep, dark place with no one to pull me out.
Here’s the solution: My identity is in the Father and my obedience flows with joy out of that identity. If I fail, I am loved. If I succeed, I am loved. If I am sick, I am loved. If I am healthy, I am loved. If I am faithful, I am loved. If I mess up, I am loved.
I am loved by the Father, unconditionally, and that is my identity…if I let it be. I don’t have to earn it. I don’t have to work for it. I don’t have to fulfill an untold number of duties for it. I just have to be.
I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge —that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.