In conversations, and sharing life with others; we share our joys, our sorrows, and our experiences. Have you noticed in these, we too share our comparisons? We mask them with closing statements of “I’m not there yet.” Not there yet? Meaning, there is a goal, and we fall short. THERE is the carrot, and we are ever running after it, tumbling, tripping along the way – but THERE it is. We are here, and NOT there. We want to do and be something other than we are.
I am learning our there can only be found in God. HE is the blueprint Designer of our life. (read that again) Not friends, not co-workers, not church leaders and most assuredly not ourselves. The sad thing about the not there yet concept, we are continually striving, reaching for there, yet fail to live in and appreciate the NOW! Don’t get me wrong, we are called to growth, but not set in the environment of defeat!
Remember the story of Hagar, (poor gal) she was a by-product of Abram’s detour, he treks off to Egypt due to lack of food in the area and while there, acquires massive amounts of animals and what else? Maidservants. (Genesis 12:16) She was just being obedient when told to go to Abe’s tent … etc … etc … etc. (see chapter 16) Following this, where did she find herself? In the ‘ick’ of life. If I could interject just for a moment, the struggle we all face, the thought, the attitude, “If I were a better woman/man, I would __________ ” (and we fill in the blank). We are our best critic; we long to be and do it ALL better. Yet when we don’t, our mindset is, ‘just not there yet,’ and consider ourselves a failure.
I am sure Hagar felt the same way, if I were a better woman, a better servant, I could handle this. Hurt, frustrated, and confused, she takes off and runs away. Yet God found her, where she was. He called her by name, it wasn’t “Hey you, over there, yep you the one that everyone hates, the one who didn’t get it right,” He called her by name, “Hagar.”
God asks her questions, not that He doesn’t know the answers, but by asking these questions, God is inviting her to process through the ‘stuff’ with Him. “Where have you come from and where are you going? She shares her ‘ick’, and God encourages her with His promises. What a deal, our ick for His promises! I love how she wraps up her time with God; she calls Him El Roi… “You are the God who sees ME, for I have now seen the One who sees ME.” (v 13, emphasis mine)
The next time we are tempted to believe the LIE that since we are not there yet, we are not good enough. Instead, we focus on here and now, where God sees us! He calls us by name and extends love, grace, mercy, and strength.
Loved one, do you need to be seen by the One who sees you? He does. Hear His whisper, “I see YOU!” I see you NOW, who & what you are NOW, I will not love you any more than I do now, when you get to where you think you need to be!”
Looking to His design, ever growing, not there yet, but by golly, He sees me here and now. (Head bowed).
In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love & good deeds.” – Hebrews 10:24)
In conversations, we share life with others. We share our joys, our sorrows, our experiences. Have you noticed in these, we too develope our … comparisons. We mask them with a slight shrug of the shoulder and personal confessions of “I’m not there yet.” Not there yet? Where? There is the carrot and we are forever running after it, we keep it tied in front of us. But THERE it is. We are here, and NOT there. We want to do and be something other than we currently are. “They are!”
I am learning that whatever, wherever ‘there’ is, it is not up to others to criticize or define it for me. Family, friends, the church, yes they are a voice in my life, I honor, respect and consider their input. However, my there can only be found in God. So the one in the back row can hear it again, “Our there, our goal of growth is ONLY found in God.” The sad thing about the not there yet concept? We fail to live in the NOW! The road is so long. Face it, we will continue to be, ‘not’ something. Not thin, smart, rich, fit, strong, not happy, healthy, beautiful, unselfish … enough. The list is vast. We are continually discouraged in the dressing room of life, trying on things that don’t fit (yet) Please note, I am not negating discipline. If it is in our means to change, to grow effectively, with Jesus’ help, may we do so.
Remember the story of Hagar, Sarah’s Egyptian servant girl. Poor gal. She was just being obedient. She was told to go to Abe’s tent, um… etc. (See Genesis 16) Following this, where did she find herself? In the thick of life. Sarah became jealous and mistreated her. Hagar was hurt, frustrated, and confused, unable to process it all, she takes off, running away. God found her, where she was. He called her by name, it wasn’t “Hey you over there, you – the one with the bad attitude, yup the one who didn’t get it right!” He called her by name, “Hagar.”
God being God, asked her “Where have you come from and where are you going? By asking this question, (He already knew) they are now in the moment. It is God’s invitation, the initiation to process through the ‘stuff’ with Him. She shares her stuff, God proceeds to encourage her with His promises. I love how she wraps up her time with God, she calls Him, El Roi, (El- ro-ee) “You are the God who sees me, for I have now seen the One who sees me.”
The next time we are tempted to believe the LIE when we look at others and think since we are not yet there, (Examining their …season of life, maturity, positions, titles, strengths & gifting) thinking we are not good enough. Stop comparing, instead, focus on here and now, where God sees us! He calls us by name. Yes, He wants us to grow and go there, (HIS there) but He loves and accepts us where we are NOW. May we not only strive to be ‘there’, continuing to grow in and through our weakness to be like Him, but may we experience the ‘God who sees me.’ The God who extends love, grace, mercy, and strength.
Loved one, listen for El Roi, the God who says, lovingly, “I see YOU!” I see you NOW, who you are NOW, what you are NOW, I am the God of your NOW!” Stop, and engage with Him NOW! Your goal is not only there, but here, now.
Where are you going?
In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love & good deeds” – Heb. 10:24)