I am human. I know this. There are many things I don’t know in life, but I know this. Everything in my life confirms it. I get hungry and thirsty. I am prone to being tired when I don’t get enough sleep. (go figure that one out). It hurts when I stub my toe into a chair that I know was right there, but I did it anyway. And I feel loneliness sometimes when life gets so busy that I can’t slow down to enjoy it with those I love the most.
And yet… there are days where I actually think that with my best efforts, I can change something about someone that if I were in their shoes, I would likely feel was impossible to change. And then… I am noticeably surprised by my inability to change that person. In fact, I am shocked that I can’t change them. So, I go into a hyper-drive mode of trying to fix them, to no avail.
Now, before I start any rumors, I’m not talking about a specific person, like my wife. This tendency applies in every area of my life – work, home, friends… you name it. But the interesting thing is that I’m… surprised by my humanity. You see, I want people to like me. I want people to notice me and my ability to do great things. I want people to say “that Ken Raetz… he sure is somebody.” And when it doesn’t happen… I’m surprised, hurt, angry… you name it. I’m not a happy, joyful person to be around. So, then what?
Well, my only conclusion leads me full circle to the beginning. I’m human. And this is where I could easily feel hopeless were it not for the loving, merciful, grace-filled hope that I have in Jesus Christ. I could say “God” and it would feel better for some reading this. But my hope truly is built on nothing less than the blood of Jesus Christ to cleanse me from the worst of my humanity and redeem and bring out the best of my humanity as God intended it.
So, I cling to the promise of 1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” Translation: the most human I can be is to admit I’m human, and place my hope in the forgiveness Christ has offered me through the cross. And HE WILL DO IT! Period! He is faithful! What a glorious feeling that is.
So, I cling to that promise today, turn to those I love, work with, am friends with, and say “God is changing me day-by-day. I pray you will eventually see this as well.” And I do my best to stop fixing everyone around me.
That is relief. That is real hope.