I recently read a book called, “Coming Home to Your True Self: Leaving the Emptiness of False Attractions” by Albert Haase. What an amazing work this is! I highly recommend it! The author truly captures the struggle that we, as fallen people, have as we try to connect with God. The following is my take-away from reading it, but I would encourage you to read it for yourself.
The bottom line is that we are most ourselves, most at home within our own skin and with God, when we are living in the present moment. When we begin to dwell in the past, we are plagued by regret, grief, guilt, and shame. When we try to live for the future, we struggle with anxiety and fear, feeling the need to control what is about to happen. Focusing on either side of the spectrum creates in us a need to cope rather than live. Hence, we need to pull back to the moment we are living in now in order to be our most authentic selves.
So how do we cope? I think we isolate, become addicted, feel entitled, become passive, or try to independently overcome and master our lives. These five areas, in both my personal and professional life, have proven to be true on almost all occasions. So the question is: am I my truest self when I’m isolated? Am I really me when I’m addicted to a behavior that helps me escape? When I am stuck in a victim place or am too afraid to resolve issues in my life, do I reflect the true image of God that I was made to bear? If I think I must overcome my own sin, wrestle through all of life’s struggles to overcome as a heroic champion, am I truly the dependent child that God made me to be?
But when I come to God, just as I am, in the present moment, without pretense or show, I am the most me I can be. When I live in the here and now I find Him. I can’t always find Him in the past. I can’t really see Him in the future. I can, however, let my coping guard down and find Him, in whatever state I’m in, as I approach Him in this moment.
As I have practiced this, I have found that where Jesus is, everything is already resolved. I may not see it yet, but Jesus has already taken care of it. Where Jesus reigns, which is in this moment, all will be well. No matter the circumstances, Jesus has it covered. No matter the outcome of my situation, Jesus has it under control. I don’t need His answers. I need Him!
Luke 11:11-13 tells us about prayer. Jesus gives an illustration about a child asking for a fish and a loving father giving a fish and not a snake. He then says, “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?” When we have a need, in the moment, God always offers Himself. If I need a fish, God offers Himself, the Creator of all fish. If I need an egg, He offers Himself, the Inventor of Chickens. He doesn’t always offer the solutions that we are asking, but He always offers Himself in the moment. When we need bread, He offers Himself as the Bread of Life. When we need strength, He offers Himself as our Strong Tower. When we need wisdom, He promises to never leave or forsake us. He is Wisdom.
So how do we do this? I think we have to recognize when we are anxious or full of guilt and shame and let that be our indicator that it’s time to come to this moment with God. When the waves of guilt or anxiety hit us, we must run to the moment we are in with God. Where He lives all things are new. Where He dwells all will be well. Our hope for the future is not just in the future. It starts in this moment.