NETFLIX And The Waiting Game

BY JESSICA THOMPSON

To say that I have been in a funk would be a huge understatement, it would probably also give you the impression that maybe since I have known I haven’t been conquering and moving forward in my sanctification I have felt sad about it. There are times when you don’t know you are in a funk until you wake up from your stupor and recognize, and there are times when you make a decision just to sit in the big pile of funk and let the files land without even shooing them away. That second place is where I have been. I have read my Bible occasionally, prayed even less, and have spent as much time as possible completely alone. Well, completely alone, except for my Surface Pro 2, and my new best friend, Netflix.  I could blame this funk on a series of events that go back to March. I could tell you about how since I haven’t had a deadline the thought of sitting down to write anything sounds like torture comparative to what Westley experienced while strapped to the The Machine. I could tell you that since the kids are home for the summer I have wanted to go to the beach, or the movies, or anything that made me feel less. I could try to excuse away my funk, but it has been a desired friend for quite a while now.

That is until the other day, I had the disturbing thought “what have I been doing for the last six months???” @@I felt a true conviction for wasted time, for wasted energy.@@ It wasn’t comfortable. I knew that things needed to change. So immediately I went to my list of all the things I needed to be doing to get back into a better routine. One of those things would be to stop watching so much Netflix. I am embarrassed to tell anybody how many seasons of how many series I devoured in that six months. During my get-my-act-back-together thoughts, I realized that I hadn’t had any thought of repentance. I hadn’t had any desire to pray or to pick up my Bible. All of my thoughts were ones of self-improvement. Every thought had to do with proving that I could show some self-control first and then start back up with God later. I needed to put some space between me and Netflix before I started any movement back towards God. I had to wait a little bit, prove my worthiness, prove my faithfulness, and prove that I was serious about change this time. Basically, I was looking to be my own Savior.

The thing with repentance is it is an admitting that I can’t do it, and that I have now seen that He has loved me all along.

I have often heard that repentance is agreeing with God’s assessment of who you are and who He is. My self-reformation was the furthest thing from that. I was uncomfortable with who I was and thought I needed to do better before I could turn to God. I didn’t agree that I was completely bad, I just thought I was mostly bad but capable of making myself better. I didn’t agree that God describes Himself as “gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love” (Psalm 145:8) or that “he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressor” (Is. 53:12) or that “God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ” (Eph. 2:4). I had forgotten that I didn’t need to wait.

I didn’t need to prove myself. I just needed to cry out “have mercy on me a sinner” and believe that he would.

Today, if you are in a funk, if you are enjoying your funk, or if you hate your funk, remember that “the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases” rejoice that you don’t have to clean yourself up first to come to him, that even when the son was a long way off the Father came running towards him. He is good and His mercy endures forever.

Jessica is an author of several books and a frequent conference speaker. Her heart is to see women, families, and children freed from the bondage of moralism and to live in the truth that in the gospel there is joyful freedom awaiting them. Jess has a Bachelor's Degree in Theology and with her mother, Elyse Fitzpatrick, she co-authored the books Give Them Grace and Answering Your Kids' Toughest Questions. She has also written Exploring Grace Together and Everyday Grace: Infusing All Your Relationships With the Love of Jesus. Jess believes the truth that salvation is "naked confidence in the mercy of God." She has been married to her high school sweetheart since 1995. Together they have three teenage children.

Twitter @TheJessLou