Habitual sin, neglecting prayer, failure, not living up to my own expectations for myself, and not reaching my goals. All these things leave me with a sense of guilt and discouragement, and I find that I’m disappointed more than I’m satisfied. I’m always trying to measure up to something, and the pressure I put on myself is constantly battling my humanness and crushing me beneath its weight. I let that carry into my image of God and so often I wrongly see Him as someone who expects me to be more than I am just to be enough for Him.
Over and over, I seem desperate to do something to make up for all the ways I’ve fallen short, and I find myself scrambling for something to do that will bring any kind of clarity. That clarity only seems to come in the form of a question: “God, what do you want from me?”
I asked this of my Creator in prayer one day and as I closed my eyes His answer came with a startling speed and certainty— “your presence.”
MY presence. That’s it. Two words that revealed a vastness of divine love and humility deeper than I could imagine. The one who knit me together, who holds the stars, planets, galaxies, and every human life within His palm, just wants me. Not who I pretend to be, and not my preconceived notions of what prayer should be that is based on the pressure I put on myself to be “perfect”, but the real, very not-put-together Anna.
So at that moment, I just sat. I let Him love me instead of trying to measure up to His love.
More and more, the Lord is showing me how incredibly simple He is. What Jesus asks of us is not complicated. His invitation to the apostles in the Gospel consisted of two words— “Follow me”. Short, to the point, clear. We’re the ones that work ourselves into a frenzy trying to make everything “enough” to be admired or worth something. In God’s presence, the focus turns from our weakness to His strength, and all the pressure melts away in the realization of His love— which is something we could never measure up to.
–written by Anna MacDonald