April 30, 2020
Secrets, Struggles and the Scandalous Love of God
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1, ESV).
Friend to Friend
On a recent evening my daughter and I met for a writing date. We spread our laptops out on a wood-topped table in a corner booth of our favorite place. We ate delicious soup and clicked on our keyboards.
In between paragraphs we’d talk and at some point, our conversation drifted to an area in which I’ve personally struggled. I’d never shared this with her and I felt afraid about doing so.
I’m supposed to be her Mama after all. What if this made her feel unsure of me, unsafe in some way? But it seemed God kept nudging so I cleared my throat and said, “There have been times in my life when this thing we’re talking about has been a struggle for me.”
She looked at me and said, without hesitation, “It helps to know you have struggles too.” It felt like she handed me a piece of freedom my heart hungered for, like passing a bite of crusty bread across the table. Because don’t we all do this? We tell ourselves that to be a helpful example we must be a flawless one. But this has never been the way, what our people really need.
Then I said, “We don’t have secrets in our family. I want you to know that there is nothing you could ever tell me that would make me love you less. You can come to me with anything and there will never be any judgment. And if you feel like anything in your life is ever coming after you, I will stand with you and we will fight it together.”
As those words came out of my mouth it suddenly seemed that corner booth became holy ground. Because I understood in a way I never had before what this means: “There is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1) and “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31).
What I said to my daughter our Heavenly Father says to us today, right here and now: “We don’t have secrets in our family. I want you to know that there is nothing you could ever tell Me that would make Me love you less. You can come to Me with anything and there will never be judgment. And if you feel like anything in your life is ever coming after you, I will stand with you and we will fight it together.”
This is what I know is true in a deeper way than ever before and I hope my daughter and my granddaughter and all my sisters like you know it too: Whatever we did yesterday, whatever we’re battling today, whatever we may face tomorrow, the love of God for us and the grace of God toward us will never, ever change.
Dear Lord, Your forgiveness and Your grace are overwhelming -- in the very best way. I don’t have to keep secrets from You because You know all of me, and piece of my story, and You love me just the same. What a kind Father You are!
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Are you keeping a secret from God? He already knows your heart. He loves you, secrets and all. Take time today to sit in His presence and share your heart with Him. Invite Him into the secret places.
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Holley Gerth is a bestselling author, encourager and life coach who loves empowering women to embrace who they are and become all God created them to be. Her book Fiercehearted will help you and those you love live more fully and love more bravely.