Does loving God well require perfection?

Does loving God well require perfection?

I dug deep beneath the rich soil, stirring the dirt, breaking up the hard ground parched by summer’s heat. Chrysanthemums called to me from their cramped containers, promising me to flourish with a new life of perfection and blooms if I would but set them free.

Several inches beneath layers of dark chocolate earth, a glint of light caught my attention. Using my fingers, I brushed away the dirt and discovered a small brass button. A floral engraving indicated its owner was a lady, perhaps from generations ago (my home is an old farmhouse built in 1887). I tried to picture her in my mind. Was she petite? Frail? Or was she strong and powerful? Had she struggled through life, battling hurts and heartache or had she lived the life of luxury where everything on the surface appeared perfect?

That’s the paradox, isn’t it?

Even a perfect life of luxury has hurts and betrayals beneath its golden exterior, hidden from the world’s view so the image of perfection won’t be interrupted.

I certainly don’t live a life of luxury, but I am guilty of trying to portray perfection.

I’m guilty of not wanting others to see my vulnerabilities, the ugly places in my heart, the hurts and betrayals that wrenched my heart in two. Do you suppose we think if others can’t see our imperfections then neither can God? Or perhaps, and more importantly, do we convince ourselves that if others can’t see our imperfections, our hurts, and betrayals, then maybe they don’t exist. Maybe they have no power over us. Maybe we’ve buried them deep enough to never be found.

Truth is, like the vintage brass button, imperfections will be found. Especially when we align ourselves with the Most High God, the Creator of heaven and earth, the One who loves us with an everlasting love.

Especially then.

Job 12:22 reads, “He [the Lord] uncovers deep things out of darkness, and brings the shadow of death to light.”

Layer by layer, as we yield to Him, He digs into the soil of our hearts and unearths hidden wounds, sins, betrayals — those things that would keep us from loving Him well. With a gentle touch the Lord brushes the dirt away, rubs the imperfection with His thumb, and blows His breath on it to scatter any remaining dirt that would keep it from reflecting His light.

That is the way of holiness. Sanctification. Being set apart for and placed within the heart of God.

Like the chrysanthemums calling to me to free them from their cramped containers so their roots can grow deep and strong and the beauty of their blossoms can flourish, so the Lord sets us free from those things that keep us bound. He digs deep through the layers that guard our hearts, searching for any hidden imperfections or those things that lie in decay.

I believe God removes them and keeps them under His watchful care knowing that regardless of how ugly the wound or imperfection, it is part of who we are.

And who we are is precious to Him. Flaws and all.

Yes, our God is a good and faithful Father.