The Radiant Ones

“Those who look to him are radiant;

their faces are never covered with shame.”

Psalm 34:5 (NIV)

I long for an audience with the King. Yet, there is no shortage of mistakes and sin in my life. Who am I to desire an intimate connection with the Lord? I’m a nobody. A screw-up. I’m angry. Stressed. I don’t deserve to look into the oceanic eyes of the One who saved me from death, even with the knowledge that just one look will wash me back to my original purpose and identity. One look is surely all I need. I’ve heard stories of His one look saving lives, righting wrongs, changing hearts, forgiving sin, healing wounds, even creating worlds. But for me, the cloud of shame and unworthiness is too heavy. Oh, how could He even look at me? I’m broken! He doesn’t want broken children, right? I might as well just tough it out. Stay in this place of darkness. He won’t help me. He’s probably too busy with His perfect ones.

Oh, the tenderness and kindness of a Father who refuses to leave me to the smallness of my own thinking! Just when I think I am too far gone from the warm embrace of His incomprehensible love, He wraps me up in His healing arms and pulls me back into who He created me to be: His perfect, kind, courageous, creative, lovable son. What a lie it is from the enemy to think that God would ever let me go even one day without softly whispering in my ear how deep and unfailing His love is for me. My Father doesn’t just meet me where I am stuck; He is in a constant pursuit of my heart no matter where my wandering feet take me.

He isn’t afraid of my mess. He isn’t afraid of my sin or my problems or my mistakes or my hurts or my brokenness. He doesn’t squirm uncomfortably in the midst of my raw vulnerability. In fact, He rushes to meet me in my pain and struggle. He would pay any price just to FULLY love ALL of me. He DID pay that price. But how will I ever believe that God loves all of me if I’m too afraid to actually show ALL of me to Him?

“Okay, FINE! I’ll do it! I’ll give you my brokenness. My shame. My sin. My pain. You can have it. I’ve been trying to hide it for awhile now, but I just can’t do it anymore. Are you sure you can handle it? Can you handle my imperfection? Because I’m scared as hell of rejection. Please. Please take it all. Know all of me. Love all of me.”

His response is simple, yet profound: “Yes. Bring it all to me. Son, don’t you know this is the very reason I died and rose again? Look into the depths of my eyes. Pay close attention, for it is in my eyes that you will see who you really are. How I see you. Don’t miss this. I love you fully. I love you deeply. I love you always.”

The price of authentic intimacy is high, but I’ve never been more sure that just one radiant look from my Father is worth it.

-Jonah

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