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On Trying to Accept Reality

"Self-denial is a beautiful thing."

I said this tonight to a friend who came over for tea. Really, only I drank tea. She drank water from the red-topped water bottle she always has in hand.

"Self-denial is a beautiful thing," she echoed, wholeheartedly agreeing. But of course, neither of us really agreed with ourselves or with each other. We laughed. I think maybe we both needed that laugh.

But let me tell you: when you feel like you are in the middle of . . . everything, when you feel like the romanticized beginnings of everything about your life are starting to dissolve and the grit and the dirt of who you really are and what the world really is are coming into focus, and you are trying to trust Jesus and you want the gospel to become real to you, but mostly you just feel like you are getting clear on the sin and fallenness aspects of it--well, then, my friend, self-denial sounds like a beautiful thing.

And I don't mean self-denial like that of the "den…

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