Puzzle Piece Passages

"Spend time with God every day."

"Open your Bible and read scripture."

"Meditate on God's word and memorize verses."

But what if I don't?

I’m starting to understand that the reason I struggle with spending time with God is because I want the next thing I read to be perfect. I want it to be a puzzle-piece passage or chapter or devotional, so that it fits perfectly with whatever I’m going through.

I know I can't be the only imperfect person who thinks it's difficult to allow a space and a time to spend with the all-perfect God. I'll read scripture because I feel like I have to. I'll read something without trying to understand it. I desire to journal or write something but hesitate because I want it to be worded perfectly. Even with blogging--especially with blogging--since I know I'm not the only person who is reading my words.

I compare myself a lot.

"She writes so beautifully, if only I could too..."

"His desire to pursue a relationship with the Lord is something fierce, and I wish I had that in me."

"I'm not good enough to lead people; they know better than me."

It sounds so reasonable and so matter-of-fact in my head, and then when it's said out loud it sounds like the farthest thing from truth.

It's occurred to me that we can't, I can't, put God’s word into a puzzle-piece template. I can't make scripture fit into my broken life, I have to allow my broken self to approach scripture so I can strive to be more Christ-like.

Feeling like I need something from Jesus in order to redeem me is a good and healthy thing, because that's what he does. Feeling like a failure when I don't read or pray in a “perfect” routine is far from good and healthy. This has caused me to withdraw myself from God and draw closer to isolation. It has made me feel like I can't just be with God.

But as I try to hide from God, I hear a quiet whisper from him saying, "Just be with me. You don't need to clean yourself up or be perfect. I am perfect for you. I welcome your mess and I welcome your brokenness. I already know who you are, so just be."

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith––that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
— Ephesians 3:14-19

I've been taking little steps of faith so I can see that I am rooted and grounded in love. His steadfastness and faithfulness, even when I’m seemingly unfaithful, gives me the strength to comprehend that the love of Christ surpasses all knowledge to be filled with all the fullness of God.

Sometimes it's okay to not have an agenda for spending time with God. Sometimes it's okay to just sit with God and vent. Sometimes it's okay to be quiet and just try and listen to God. Jesus didn't die for you to cower in fear at the thought of messing up your time with Him. He didn't die for you to clean yourself up before you approach Him. He died because of our mess of sin.

Instead of feeling the need to be perfect for the Lord, having our life-puzzle put together perfectly each and every day, we can be our fully imperfect selves knowing that He will accept us with arms open and wrapped around us.

Megan Aya-senior portraits-0115.jpg

Megan Wolf is a 22 year old spunk-filled, year-round-pumpkin-loving graduate of Radford University. She currently has two part-time jobs, one being on staff with Cru at Radford and the other a nanny to two sweet little girls. She hates paying bills, loves small towns, and is indifferent towards sports. You're most likely to find her at any event with free food, as food is her first love. Including food, though, she loves Jesus a ton and knows she has a lot more to learn about his character.