I have struggled for the past few weeks with "shoulds".
You know, the
"We should do blah because blah happened."
"We shouldn't do blah because blah happened."
"What should we do?"
And "we" rarely means we.
It means you.
Which, in this case, means me.
I have been known to be rebellious in the past.
Tell me to turn right
and I have turned left
just because you told me what to do.
(real mature, I know)
But this isn't one of those times.
These shoulds seem to be bouncing off me.
(Which is weird, for me.)
In the past,
I have let them eat away at me
wearing me down
until I actually act on them.
Without so much as a whisper of a prayer
seeking God's wisdom.
As it turns out,
I don't like being "should" on.
In "Grace For the Good Girl", Emily Freeman captures this beautifully,
"As good girls, we are so used to hearing words like you ought to, you should, and you must. With those same ears, we try to listen to Jesus and it sounds as though he speaks the same language. But that is the language of the law. It is time to say goodbye to fake, ought-to Jesus and meet the real one."
Is anyone else uncomfortable?
SO why I loved this book. It hit me where it hurt in so many ways.
Which is why I can now recognize that these "shoulds" I keep hearing are coming out of law.
And Jesus already died to satisfy it.
So I don't have to.
These "shoulds" in my life are coming from people reacting to deaths.
There have been several in my life in the past few weeks.
Before Sandy Hook.
"Shoulds" born out of fear.
And deep, unimaginable grief.
People "shoulding" our government.
"Shoulding" our schools.
"Shoulding" each other.
Twice this morning, God reminded me that in John 11:35
I am unwrapping that the "shoulds" in my life are bouncing off of me because they are
Jesus KNEW he was going to bring Lazarus back to life but he didn't wave off Mary's mourning.
He didn't rush it.
(Can you imagine Jesus HIMSELF
who is the embodiment of love,
CRYING with you?)
I can't think of anything more precious.
So that is what I feel led to do.
I am going to mourn with my friends.
And my nation.
Not because I "should"
but because I need.
I need Jesus.
I heard Andy Stanley say this on the radio:
"God redeems pain for good."
That's good, not should.