Let me start out by saying this: I love Tenth Avenue North. You know those songs or artists that just seem to get you? The ones that somehow come up with the words you’ve been feeling for so long, but cannot seem to intelligently get out? Well, Tenth Avenue North is one of those artists for me. I swear that they must be tapping into my brain.
Anyway, tonight a thought just came to me. It was simply this….you are more.
“What?”, I thought. “I’m more than…..than what exactly?”
Then it came again. “You are more.”
“Well, alright…glad to know that.” I started going on with my night. But then I thought back to the strange thought. And the more I thought about it, the more I wondered if it was God trying to tell me something.
Now, we all struggle with dealing with failure daily. Yes, even failure to stop at a stop sign counts! For me, failure is hard to deal with. I want to do well. I want everything to go the way I plan and imagine it will go. Unfortunately, that rarely happens. Sometimes I get so frustrated with failure. The biggest failure I face every day is my sin. I cannot for the world get around it. It happens daily, hourly, probably every minute and that drives me nuts. After all, I am supposed to be refining myself to be more like Christ right? True, but I’m not perfect and I am going to sin again. I feel so ashamed and guilty like I should be doing so much better than I am. And sometimes I feel like God is just one day going to decide I am not worth it. Now in my heart, I know he won’t ever give up on me. He loves me unconditionally. It doesn’t matter how much I fail to obey him , He will always be there to shower me with his love. It’s a hard concept for me to grasp at times because regular people don’t do that. We are so quick to find fault with each other (and I am completely guilty of this), yet we are much more reluctant to simply forgive each other for those faults and failures. Sometimes I find myself putting God in the same category as people, forgetting that He isn’t a person. God is God. He commits no wrong. He loves despite our wrongs. But I am so ashamed of my faults sometimes that I am afraid to let my secrets come out in front of him- which is silly because he already knows. I have even found myself pretending that I have done nothing wrong. And that is when God sends me a thought bubble saying, “You are more.” It’s then that I start recalling Tenth Avenue North lyrics. It’s like God just knows I need to remember his promise. He loves me. His love reaches over and underneath, inside and in-between. It reaches toward me when I doubt Him or myself and when I am so broken that I cannot fathom ever healing again. And most of all, it’s there in my sorrow and under the weight of my shame. God knows I am going to disobey Him. He knows it. And yet, His love for me never changes. He will never forsake me.
Again he says “You are more” once I have come to realize he isn’t going anywhere. Now I start to understand what He means. I am more than my faults and failures. People often say that what you do makes you who you are and I can understand how they think that. I don’t disagree with them on a level that they are simply trying to make people understand that there are consequences to their choices. But here is the gospel: Where you end up is not who you are. What you do is not who you are. If you are in Christ, who you are is what has been done for you. We are going to screw up ALL the time, but how else do you think God can call us said screw ups a “new creation?” I AM MORE than my faults and failures because I have been made new in Christ. I am still going to mess up, and mess up often, but when Christ died on the cross for me, things changed. I am his child now and I am what has been done for me. It’s like Pope John Paul III said, “We are not made from the sum of our weakness. We are the sum of our Father’s love for us.” I am a child of God in spite of myself and nothing can ever break me from that.
“you are more than the choices that you’ve made
you are more than the sum of your past mistakes
you are more than the problems you create
you’ve been remade
cause this is not about what you’ve done
but what’s been done for you
this is not about where you’ve been
but where your brokenness brings you to
this is not about what you feel
but what He felt to forgive you
and what He felt to make you new.”
-Tenth Ave North “You Are More”