It's a familiar scene played out in my life far too often. I'm racing up the side of the mountain, brandishing my "sword" going full speed ahead when suddenly, I stop paying attention to where I'm going and what I'm doing. I recklessly forge ahead giving little thought to what I'm doing when suddenly, my feet slip out from under me and I unceremoniously go slipping and siding down the side of the mountain. Sometimes I manage to do this privately but more often than not I have an audience...sometimes a really big audience.
I find myself lying at the bottom of the hill with my tiara askew and tangled hair. Well, maybe not the tangled hair at the moment but it could happen...eventually in perhaps another six months or so as it's about two inches long now.
My gown is dirty and torn a bit, my hands and knees are skinned up pretty good, I've got a glob of mud on my face and I'm in some sort of tangled up and embarrassing position. This definitely is not my finest hour. Although I am a mess, I realize I'm not hurt nearly as bad as I think I am except...my pride has been hurt.
Does this ever happen to you? If it doesn't, you are truly blessed! I on the other hand, find myself in this sort of predicament more often than what I'd like. Pride was around in the Garden of Eden and it has been plaguing humanity ever since. We decide that we know best because...well...simply because we're us. When we get like this it is tough for us to listen to anyone else including God and when we stop listening to God, when we stop paying attention to God we will soon find ourselves tangled up and lying at the foot of the mountain. Pride does indeed goeth before the fall! Proverbs 15:18
My first reaction is to just lie there. Perhaps no one noticed. Then it is to feel sorry for myself and have a pity party. Poor me! Then I start criticizing myself. What sort of pathetic little princess am I? God must be thoroughly disgusted at me. That was really, really stupid of me. How can I ever look Him in the face again let alone anyone else?
This is when I need to remember that there is absolutely nothing I can do to make God love me anymore than He already does. It's true. While what we do may please Him, that is not the reason He loves us. He loves us simply because of who we are. In the same respect, there is nothing I can possibly do to make God love me any less. My husband has really shown me this lesson in action. No matter how much I mess up, he is always standing with his arms wide open, ready to embrace me and let me cry in shoulder. He may tell me I was wrong and help me know how I can avoid the same pitfall next time. He's not going to lie to me but he will let me know that he still loves me in spite of myself.
So, I painfully am getting up and brushing the gravel off of my arms and legs. I push back my tangled hair, make a few temporary repairs to my gown, adjust my tiara and limp over to my Heavenly Father. I hold up my arms and tell him I need to be held. He holds me in his arms and lets me cry for a few moments. He lets me know that even though I need to learn to be more careful and even though I'm a mess, He still loves me. He bathes, anoints and bandages my skinned hands and knees. He heals my bruises, washes the mud off my face, gently brushes my hair and sets my tiara on straight. He gives me a beautiful new gown to wear, takes my hand and together we climb the mountain.
There is nothing we can do to make God love us anymore or any less.