A Familiar Parasite
When you’re waiting—for something to change, to go away, to get better, to heal, or to grow—and when that thing you’re waiting for doesn’t happen, shame often shows up. Shame loves to pair itself with struggle, and the Enemy wants us to believe that in the messy and difficult parts of our lives shame is meant to be there—that it’s an emotion we have to own. I think that many of us are so used to letting shame live as a parasite in our places of pain that it’s hard to imagine our lives without it.
We all have places where it feels impossible to get our lives together. And my guess is that you have shame in those areas. You might have a hard time receiving grace amid those consistent failures and needs. And yet the gospel shows us that God is not ashamed of our need for grace. He gives grace freely, and he has always been just fine with our extreme need and with our inability to keep everything together on our own.
Our recurring failures and needs don’t push the Lord away from us. As these verses in Romans remind us, it’s because we are so needy, because we are so incapable that Jesus came, willingly and full of love, to save us.
There’s no shame in being needy toward God; he came while we were still weak. Not when we got our acts together and overcame our struggle, sin, and weakness—but while we were still a mess. We are weak and broken people in need of a Savior. God understands that, and he extends grace to us in that place, every moment of every day.
Ann Swindell is the author of Still Waiting: Hope for When God Doesn’t Give You What You Want (Tyndale). Learn more at AnnSwindell.com and on Twitter at @AnnSwindell.