“It isn’t a good fit for us.”
The unexpected words stung. I read them a different way. “You’re not good enough.”
I scanned the email again looking for further explanation. Maybe I didn’t follow the guidelines, made a huge grammatical error, or forgot something I was supposed to include?
In my heart, I knew this wasn’t the case. I edited and re-edited before submitting the piece. I thought it was perfect, but apparently it wasn’t.
Sitting on the bed with my legs crossed beneath me, I deleted the email and closed my eyes. The glow of the screen shined against me. Within seconds, I slipped back into my ninth grade skin. Cheerleading try-outs.
My timid high school frame scanned the list of girls who made the cut, hoping to find mine somewhere in the sea of yeses. It wasn’t there.
Then in a flash I was listening to my band teacher call out chairs for the brass section. I wanted to be in the top three. As I listened to name after name called ahead of me, I realized I wasn’t.
It took only a few words in an email to raise all of my insecurities to the surface, and I realized I’d fallen into an old habit again: the habit of striving.
Because, after all, how could I be good enough just the way I was?
If I had a bigger platform, a publisher would notice me. If I received regular pay, I would be a real writer. I kept striving for that next accolade. One I thought I needed for acceptance. Even God’s?
But the striving didn’t stop there. It continued within the walls of my church, in playgroups with other moms, and in my son’s school activities. I convinced myself that if I were a better mom, my preschooler wouldn’t struggle to sit still during story time. Or if I were a better church attendee, I would take on more responsibilities.
In this season of celebrating the birth of a God who chose to be with us let us remember – He could have been anywhere else in the universe, but he chose to be with his people. A people who would reject him.
He sent the spotless Lamb of God, his perfect sacrifice, as an atonement we could never attain. Do we really believe that? Do I?
For a season, I forgot. I strove for a love I could never earn, a grace I will never fathom.
Instead of accepting what was freely mine, I fought for it.
Friends, there is nothing we can do to earn God’s love and grace. He sent his son for us not because we deserved it, but because He wanted a relationship with us that much.
John understood this. His entire earthly ministry served to point others not toward himself, but toward Jesus.
Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world!” John 1:29 (NIV)
John knew he could not do Jesus’ job. He simply cleared the way for Jesus to do the work.
I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord.’” John 1:23 (ESV)
They asked him if he was a prophet. He said, “No.” They asked if he was the Messiah. He denied every claim that he was anything more than a vessel to lead others toward the truth.
Dear one, this truth can set us free. Free from struggling to attain what is already ours. Free from striving for approval we’ve already been given.
True freedom comes when we realize there is nothing we can do to make God love us any more or less. The Lamb of God has done it all.
Once we realize this glorious truth, the light within us is magnetic. And I can assure you, others will notice it.
If you’re fighting for God to see you today, can I encourage you to give up the battle? Rest in the peace of His embrace. His “yes” is already yours.
Copyright © 2021 by Katy McCown @https://katymccown.com/2014/12/16/fighting-a-battle-thats-already-won/ No part of this article may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from Lifeword.org.