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Today, I Am Not

“Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” (John 8:58)

My day began with a dropped mug and hot coffee splattered from one end of the kitchen to the other. It continued with my child’s full-fledged temper tantrum in the frozen food aisle that resulted in my publicly conspicuous exit from the store carrying a screaming two-year-old and no groceries. Arriving home after the meltdown, I opened the bill for my daughter’s most recent medical expenses that far exceeded my expectations. In true “bad day” form, events continued to spiral downward. Because I misplaced the tiny scrap of paper on which I had scrawled the coach’s phone message, I drove my son to the wrong soccer field. Apparently, my memory hadn’t served me as well as I thought it would. After this fiasco, I made a beeline for home, determined to head off any further incidents. When I entered the house, I was greeted by a mountain of haphazardly strewn backpacks, jackets, shoes, dirty socks, unopened mail, smelly sports equipment, the overdue library books that I forgot to return again, and piles of sand from the sandbox. As I surveyed the chaos, I tried to stifle the lump in my throat and the tears forming in my eyes. After a deep sigh and fewer than 30 seconds of silence, the cacophony of “Mom, I can’t find my . . .” and “Mom, can you take me . . . ?” began again, signaling that the day was far from over. I am definitely not supermom.

The illustrious title of supermom entices us all. We all want to be the mom who balances job, children, household duties, schedules, and volunteer commitments with ease and grace—the mom who always has freshly baked cookies and a spotless house. Our quest for perfection often extends to other aspects of our lives. We want to be the super employee, super employer, super student, or super wife. Yet the harder we strive for perfection, the more visible our flaws become. We think we have it all together, but then, one by one, threads begin to unravel. We experience a failure in the workplace, an unforeseen financial setback, or a problem with a child that we just can’t seem to fix. Soon, we become acutely aware of what we are not.

When we look deep within ourselves, we find no shortage of imperfections. We agonize over shortcomings, beat ourselves up for failures, and begin to descend lower and lower into depression, self-loathing, and despair. And that is right where Satan wants us. As we focus on ourselves, we are not looking to the one who has done all things well. As we focus on what we are not, we are not focused on what God is. Instead of pursuing our focus on self, let’s sharpen our focus on God, the great I AM.

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” (Revelation 1:8)

What we could not do, God has done. Where we fail (sometimes miserably!), he succeeds. He fought the battle against Satan and won it for us! He has always been and always will be, and he continues to work the world’s events for the glory of his kingdom. Our worth comes not in what we can or can’t do but in what Christ has already done for us. When the consequences of our own sinfulness seem too heavy to bear, we fall back on the promises of God and remember that he is almighty. Nothing is too difficult for God to fix!

So on “those days” that remind us of our failures and cause us to realize that we are far from being supermom or super anything, let us look to the cross of Christ. As we stand there, laying our failures at his feet, we can hear him say three short yet astounding words that change who we are today and what we will become in the future.

It is finished. ( John 19:30)

These beautiful words assure us that every failure has been nailed to the cross of Christ and removed completely. In these three words we see our value. Our worth is based not on who we are but on what Christ has made us—dearly loved, redeemed daughters of the King. May that comfort and sustain us on even the worst of days!

Prayer: Dear Savior, help me leave all my troubles, worries, and feelings of failure at your feet. Use your cross to remind me of my value as your child—loved, redeemed, and forgiven. Give me strength to battle the devil, who wants me to despair. Pour out your Holy Spirit to strengthen me as I meditate on the truth that you indeed did do all things well for me. Amen.

Strength from God’s Word: Read Luke 18:9-14. After we look into the mirror of God’s law and face our sins, we approach the Lord in prayer, as did the tax collector. We come before our almighty God humbly, unable to look into heaven. As we, broken because of our own iniquities and inadequacies, come before the Lord, what does he graciously give us? See Lamentations 3:22,23 and Psalm 51.

Buy Cherished GiftsFrom Cherished Gifts by Katie Martin © 2015 Northwestern Publishing House. All rights reserved.

Image credit: "spill" by Josh Parrish is licensed under CC BY 2.0.