Back when I was married and going through the reconciliation attempt, I had many, many lowest-of-the-low moments. And in those moments – and sometimes not even in those lowest moments – I knew in my heart that I didn’t have what it took to stay married anymore. That I just couldn’t.
Even with Jesus in me.
Yes, I believe that I have the power of God in me that brought Jesus literally back from being dead into resurrection life.
And yet in the same breath, I believe I couldn’t have done it.
Here’s what I don’t mean. I don’t mean that had I stayed married, it would have physically killed me or I would’ve taken my own life. I mean that, for me, it would’ve emotionally killed me and I mean that, for me, I would not have had the whatever it would’ve taken to be kind and loving every day for the rest of my life. I would have been existing. Barely surviving. Not doing it well…like, at all.
I know someone who is walking away from something saying he just can’t do it anymore. Some might say that he hasn’t tried everything. Maybe he has, maybe he hasn’t.
But he’s saying he knows himself well enough to know that this thing he’s been trying to do is breaking him. Killing him emotionally. And, even with Jesus, he just can’t keep doing it.
I hate writing these words about myself, about this friend. Not because I’m ashamed of being human, of being weak at times, of knowing my limitations. But because I feel like, as a Christian, I must portray superhuman strength so that I can show the world that living with Jesus in me is different than living without Jesus in me.
Listen, I know I can do things that there is no way on God’s green earth that I could do without Jesus in me.
Staying married for almost nineteen hard years was one of those things.
Going on the radio the other day and not even sounding like myself I was so dang calm and collected was one of those things.
Every time I get up in front of a group and speak publicly when I hated – and I mean hated – public speaking for the first thirty years of my life is one of those things.
But then there are some times when – even with Jesus in me – I just can’t. I just can’t do whatever the thing is.
I need to press pause here, because it’s not because Jesus can’t do all things, I believe he can. And it’s not that I don’t believe that “I can do all things through Christ”, because I believe that to be true.
It’s me. And it’s you. And it’s our humanness.
I love God. I believe he is all-powerful. I believe he can do whatever he wants, even through me. And yet, if I’m honest – and I just don’t see the point of not being completely honest anymore – there have been plenty of times in my life when I have begged God for help and healing and power and courage and it has not come in the sustaining form I was asking for, and I’ve had to just do the thing without courage and strength and slog my way through it, or I’ve had to walk away.
I don’t understand most of this. I do not have an answer for this one. This is where faith comes in. And when I’m kicking myself for not doing the thing that I thought I should be able to do because Jesus is in me, that’s where grace comes in. That’s just when I cling to grace.