"And the master said to the slave, 'Go out into the highways and along the hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.'"
Two nights ago I woke up at 3 a.m. from an awful dream and had a wave of panic flow over me. This happens to me periodically. God is faithful though to help me through it. I have a few go-to verses that help get me centered.
2 Corinthians 10:5 is one of them. After a while my heart stopped racing and I was able to rest again.
The verses above spoke to me in a different way today. I don't know if you'll relate but we'll see. I've read those verses in Luke many times and have always seen the people who have come to the marriage feast as others, not myself. I have always pictured myself sitting at the table watching all these guests arrive.
This morning I realized I'm one of the guests talked about -- I am one of the "poor and crippled and blind and lame" guests. And even though I've been a Believer for 20+ years I still am one of these guests.
When I have a moment of insanity (My Crazy Jane times) I feel like hiding in a hole, not going out, not interacting with others so they don't get exposed to this darker side of myself. As I read the verses I am rethinking this. We are always welcome at God's table no matter what our conditions are.
As I've gotten older I understand myself better and I can deal with the crazy times much more effectively because I know what is going on, but they are still there. Just because I really love Jesus and I live for Him everyday of my life (sometimes very badly) doesn't mean I am the complete person I will be in heaven.
Yes, I am complete in Jesus but it is because He fills up all the cracks and crevices of my honest-to-goodness brokenness.
Paul says, "I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13
God's grace is always enough even when I am not.
I want to share a quote with you from Joni Earekson Tada. She writes, "Not everyone can be trusted with suffering. Not everyone can endure a fiery ordeal. So the Master scrutinizes the jewels and carefully selects those which can bear the refining, the branches which can stand the knife. It is given for some to preach, for others to work, for others to give, and for still others to suffer. Where do you fit on the scale? He [God] has selected you to handle the particular, unique individual set of circumstances in your life. Not everyone could be trusted with what you're wrestling with, but you have been so trusted. The grace is God's. The choice is yours."
If we look close into someone's eyes, we can see the face of God. God loves each of us so very much. Welcome everyone to the table. Welcome all of yourself too.