Well, now you know a little bit about being Billy Graham’s daughter! It is part of what I am, not who I am. I get a kick out of the way people view me – as if I don’t live in the real world! After my assistant started working for me the ladies in her church would ask questions like, “Does Ruth clean her own house?”, “Does Ruth go to the grocery store?” Yes, to both of those questions. And there are some days, I don’t even wear make-up! I am a real person that does everyday things…I rather enjoy the mundane things of life, where there are no expectations.
I don’t live in some sort of spiritual bubble. I have to work to pay the bills. Weeds grow in my yard – that I pull myself! By now you know me well enough to know that my life didn’t turn out as I expected. Far from it. But because of what I have experienced, I have learned of God’s grace and mercy in ways I could not have if all had gone according to my plan. I don’t like the hard times but for some reason in God’s economy that’s where we learn the deep things of Him. If we do not have those dark times in our lives, how can we appreciate the light?
But I have been thinking about the, “gray” in our lives. (Not the “50 shades” kind!)
Do you ever have this gnawing feeling that things just aren’t right? A disquiet? You can’t really put yor finger on it but it’s just here…like a fog that surrounds you. You wake up with a subtle sense of dread. Joy is hard to find in that fog…oh, you can carry on, go through the day, but everything is in shades of gray.
I have times like that, too. We have an enemy who is the great joy-killer.
I try to figure out what is wrong? I ruminate on stuff. Is it a sin? Am I feeling some sort of guilt? A conviction? Usually, it is a feeling that I just haven’t measured up. But what am I needing to measure up to? (Bad sentence structure.) What standard am I using?
If I use the fashion magazine’s standard, or Martha Stewart’s, or the church’s, or the gym mirrors, even family standards, I will come up short. I don’t measure up. Who am I trying to please? My neighbors? Myself? Strangers? Family members? God? All of that will be futile. Some folks I can never make happy and they see my flaws and are oh, so happy to point them out. Especially self. I can be so self-critical.
What’s the point? All this measuring is so futile and self-defeating. It creates the gray in my life. I have to use truth to combat it. And the only real truth is in the scriptures. The Apostle Paul wrote, “When they measure themselves by themselves, and compare themselves with themselves, they are without understanding.” In other words it is a waste of time. My oldest daughter is a marathon runner and she tell me that if she glances back to see how she is doing she can loose a step and the race. God loves me as I am and He will let me know any course corrections I may need to make. There is a difference between gilt and conviction. Guilt is the enemy’s tool to defeat me. Conviction is God’s way of correcting me.
And the great truth is that you can do nothing to make God love you more – not all those good things you do. And there is nothing you can do to make Him love you less. Not sin. He loves you as much as He ever will or ever has. His love is so total that it cannot be added to or subtracted from. We are loved – totally.
Think about that! The fog will begin to lift!