This week I broke all my rules.
On Monday night, I thought, this can be my TV day.
On Wednesday, I had the day off (the school district preparing for a possible need to make up a snow day), and I thought, this is kind of like a snow day, doesn’t count, I can watch TV.
On my Friday drive to and from work, I listened to the first episode of the Head to Heart podcast, and it was so good. SO, SO GOOD. Christa and Luke (I feel like I’m on a first name basis with them after listening!) talked about going deep into your heart, that you’re not there alone, that the way to healing from any sort of wound is to allow Jesus to be there with you in your pain. I was a little bit afraid to go where Christa and Luke and the Holy Spirit were leading, so I thought, I don’t want to give up TV for Lent anymore, and I numbed out with TV. On Saturday, too.
This morning, I went to church and the message was all about how Jesus is the vine and we are the branches. How “remain in Jesus” means to make your home in him. How bearing good fruit is a result of striving for closeness with the Creator of the fruit, not striving to bear fruit. How God will prune my vine to make me bear more good fruit, and how that’s not an easy experience.
I remembered seeing an article scroll by my Facebook feed, about failing at Lent. I found it back and read about the irrefutable law that “one needs to be dispossessed of all the possessions that possess us — before one can be possessed of God. … But the flesh is corrupt. I can’t do it. … Jesus will have to do everything.”
It all comes together at this point. Jesus will do it.
Jesus is the Healer. He is with me in pain; he is angry with me; he is sad with me; he is overwhelmed with me. He is the Creator of good fruit. He is my Home, my place of comfort and refuge and nourishment. He is the Gardener, pruning away what impedes my growth. He is the Grace that will do everything, as I will always fall short, and he loves me too much to let my inadequacy be the end of the story.
He is all these things. Not me.
My goal, my hope, is not to perfectly follow my own rules. Or to perfectly follow any sort of moral code. That kind of hope will never be fulfilled. My hope is to experience closeness with Jesus. My hope is to open myself to his Love, in whatever capacity or condition I find myself at the moment. My heart is His to do with, to change, to grow. He does this.
I am not my own savior. I am simply the beloved of a Savior.