This has just been one of those weeks for me... one in which the total sum of all the little stresses in my life has been teetering atop my head. I've cried more times in the past week than I have in the past month. Do you have these weeks? I can't stand them. I can't stand to feel this raw, this vulnerable.
I opened the pages of Jesus Calling this morning to read these words...
Let Me bless you with my grace and peace. Open your heart and mind to receive all that I have for you. Do not be ashamed of your emptiness. Instead, view as the optimal condition for being filled with My Peace.
It is easy to touch up your outward appearance, to look as though you have it all together. Your attempts to look good can fool most people. But I see straight through you, into the depths of your being. There is no place for pretense in your relationship with Me. Rejoice in the relief of being fully understood. Talk with Me about your struggles and feelings of inadequacy. Little by little, I will transform your weakness into strengths. Remember that your relationship with Me is saturated in grace. Therefore, nothing that you do or don't do can separate you from My Presence.
This reminds me of the many times I touch up my face with makeup after I've been crying. Been there? Sometimes the waterworks turn on, and my face is left looking like a mess. But I am good at touch ups... I can re-conceal, reapply, blush up the cheeks and curl those lashes back into place like no body's business! In just a short 60 seconds, I have a fresh face that doesn't reveal what's going on inside my heart, my head, my soul. I've done this countless times in my years here on earth. Broken and empty on the inside, normal and fine on the out.
That's why I think this devotion was so refreshing to me. There is no place for pretense in your relationship with Me. Praise God!
The world we live in is based off pretense. What you have... your car, house, clothes, handbag. Where you work... your position, amount of power, salary, ego. Who you know... your contacts, friends on Facebook, who you barbecue with on Saturday afternoon, the parties and events where your presence is coveted. Every move we make in society is full of pretense, a little snapshot of what we want people to believe about us and not necessarily who we really are. But Jesus knows the truth. He has the whole picture, not just the parts we want Him to see. How refreshing. To be loved as a whole, not just off pretenses, well, that's refreshing.
I try, or at least I think I try, to live without pretense. What you see with me is what you get. But pretenses are a natural way to protect our self. If you've hurt my feelings and turned the faucet behind my eyes on, I don't want you to know! That makes me vulnerable, weak, and an easy target. So I cover it up with makeup and a smile. But with Jesus, I don't have to cover it up. He will see through it anyway. Save the energy.
Thank you, Lord, for seeing through me. Thank you for knowing every little thing about me... each layer that I try to hide, each struggle that I face, each inward battle that I fight. And for loving me anyway...