My greatest struggle has been with self-sufficiency.
Not that I am self-sufficient, but that I believe myself capable to be self-sufficient.
It is a haughtiness carried over from my years as an unbeliever raised in a Christian home: the model Reformed Presbyterian child patting myself on the back when obeying God’s law and my parents and experiencing crushing guilt or incredulous justification when failing. God’s grace was something I read about. A good idea that bordered on the fictitious.
Sometimes, especially when God whispers and my sinful soul screams, the legalistic little me returns. This grace my pastor speaks of… it cannot be for me. Not until I make myself presentable before His throne.
I am not unaware or unfamiliar with God’s grace, praise Him.
Merely staggeringly aware of how undeserving I am of it.
And instead of hiding securely in the shadow of the cross, where Jesus paid dearly and lovingly for my sins, I gather my good deeds and knowledgeable words and years of church experience and try to arrange it into a fruit basket for an offering.
I try to give God my spoiled, bruised, mealy fruit, time and time again, instead of resting heavily and happily in the spotless, blameless, holy Lamb.
I come before proudly and self-sufficiently as Cain instead of humbly and dependently like Abel. (Genesis 4:3-4).
I struggle with anger, with bitterness, with selfishness. But, most of all, I struggle with self-sufficiency. I strive before I pray, I scrub myself with dirty sponges before bathing in His sparkling living water.
His mercy and grace fall like dew in the morning, ever new and ever constant. Praise Him that He guides me lovingly through life instead of letting me go my own way.