Naked and Not Ashamed

CC BY-NC, Vetustense Photorogue, Flickr
CC NC, Vetustense Photorogue, Flickr

In despair I thought, I am the exception to the grace of God. It slipped from my heart so gently and disgusted me on reflection, but I cannot deny it. Discouragement was fighting hard to get its paltry grip around me; thankfully, I prevailed over it.

I love the Lord and try hard to guard my thoughts and the words I speak about myself and the course of my life. I don’t want to offend him, the one who acts providentially for me. I understand that he deeply loves me, and my narrow assumptions may be discourteous to him. He cares for me better than I care for myself.

Then, I discovered David’s own testimony: “In my alarm I said, ‘I am cut off from your sight!’” (Ps. 31:22) This is the man after God’s own heart expressing the same unglamorous thought I had. In verse seven, however, he makes a keen observation: “You have known my soul in adversities” (NKJV). This thought consoles me.

We Hurt and That’s Okay

It can be quite contemptible to bear your soul, even to God. I would like to insist that I love the Lord perfectly and never have doubts; that I never struggle with his words or instructions; that I take it in stride when he stands in the shadows and isn’t apparently working for me.

But I am not that guy.

Nevertheless, I have learned that he is not offended by my limitations and brokenness. His opinion doesn’t change about me because I don’t have it together. Moreover, in his acceptance, I gain the freedom to not worry about how others perceive me. I don’t have to appear strong so everyone can think well of me and assume my spiritual fitness.

I hurt at times. I doubt. I freak out searching for God. I get angry with him and wonder why the process cannot be easier. I grow forlorn that things won’t turn out well. All of this is what David means when he says, “You have known my soul…”

Trusting in the Divine Aid

Hear me carefully: God’s love and acceptance is not an excuse for sulking and forgetting our spiritual heritage in Christ. Instead, it frees us to be what we are—human—and fully so. Thereby our burdens and pains are employed to develop character in us by the skillful hand of God.

Also, we must not forget that Christ assumed our humanity and, with it, secured our freedom, and, now retaining it, he who represented God to us now represents us to God.

David continues: “You have not given me into the hands of the enemy but have set my feet in a spacious place” (v. 8). Those who trust in the Lord can have confidence that the fears and doubts will not hem them in.

I can be sure that I have never been the exception to God’s grace. He will always give me room to fight and conquer every mental foe and dark power that assails me. God’s power is perfected in my weakness.

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