I’ve been stumbling around for weeks now, gathering my identity from the things other people might say about me. I’ve been scooping it up from my deepest fears of failure, harvesting it from my ripening field of inadequacies. But you know the thing is, I know better than this. I know better than to do this; yet I did it anyway. I listened to the voice of darkness, that screeching voice of lack inside my own head, and I flagrantly disregarded the bounty of Jesus and the abundance of His love.
I didn’t know where to begin again. I knew I’d misplaced my identity, but I was scared to approach God with my missteps of belief and doubt. How could I lose that precious gift of identity in Christ, after searching so long and so hard to find it before?? But one day last week I finally worked up the courage to ask God what He thinks of me. Sincerely expecting a reply, I ventured a quiet and tentative, “God, who do you say I am?” And Jesus, mysterious Son of Man that He is, simply and immediately asked back, “Who do you say I AM?”
“Who do YOU say I AM???”
Not an answer did the Promised One provide; merely, like so many instances in the Gospels, another question. Who do I say Jesus is?? Because maybe that’s where I went wrong, forgetting who Jesus is. Because maybe I don’t have to ask so many questions about myself, if I know the answer to the question about Jesus. And maybe I don’t have to get lost in my own dark, dangerous head, if I can get lost in the majesty and glory of the Creator, of the Redeemer, of the Comforter, of the Trinity.
Don’t get me wrong: it’s a legitimate question to ask “Who does God say I am?” But now I know it’s just as legitimate to be asked by Him — as Jesus asked Peter and the other disciples — “Who do you say I AM?” Because maybe, just maybe, that’s the question that can transfer my focus from Self onto Savior. And maybe, just maybe, the moment I answer that question is the moment the clouds will start to lift.
Turns out, the way up out of the pit isn’t to believe in myself better, it’s to believe in Someone Better. For as Peter answered, I believe Jesus is the Christ, the son of the living God, and HIS identity alone is what holds sway over the clinging darkness.
Linking up with Velvet Ashes
7 thoughts on “The Screeching Voice of Lack and the Bounty of Jesus”
I could have written this! beautiful reminder “Who do you say I Am?”
Thanks Jenilee 🙂 It’s amazing how universal this experience is, isn’t it??
Elizabeth, I love that the place you came to was to ask Jesus to define your identity.
I’m on a journey of learning to ask Jesus questions about the things I wonder about moment by moment and find that He answers in such unexpected ways, yet so consistent with His character and Word.
By the way, such an intriguing title to your post!
Yes — always very unexpected I find! I think sometimes that’s how I know it’s really God talking back to me, when He gives me such unexpected answers (but that, like you said, line up with Scripture). Someone could have told me these things all day long — and my husband tried to, both with positive affirmations (to outweigh the negative) and with gentle encouragement to think of myself less (often, that is). I even journalled about those things, to no avail. Only the still, small moment and the still, small Voice could make a dent in my heart and mind.
I love hearing that you do this kind of thing too. Thank you for sharing that.
“Only the still, small moment and the still, small Voice could make a dent in my heart and mind.” This is my experience, too! Just a glimpse of God’s perspective shifts something deep within like nothing else can.
Thank you, Elizabeth. I needed to hear this now. Again, God used your words to speak to me.
Seems like the words of Jesus are always what we need, aren’t they?? Love and mercy to you today.