I've found myself lately needing to go back to the basics. To be reminded of the truths of the Gospel. So often I talk about the Gospel, I act like I know the Gospel and live in light of the Gospel, but how often do I actively rehearse the truths that I know about God and his grace? How often do I remind myself of who I was, what Christ has done for me, and who I am now?
Maybe it’s the season I’m in now, but life feels especially uncomfortable lately. As much as I try to fight for joy, discontentment seems to continually rear its ugly head in my heart. It feels like the things I am praying and striving for most, God has chosen to keep just out of reach...
We are scared of failing. Scared of imperfection and - moreso - of letting people see the ways we don't quite meet the standards we've set for ourselves. But, you see...in the most beautiful way, imperfection is an invitation.
In our success and image-driven culture, we feel the pull to keep doing, because what we do is what we will be known for, right? Working hard is what will make us happy and successful, right? That is what will finally give us the peace we have been craving, right?
Right?.... Maybe not...
I'm realizing that gratitude starts with a small shift of the mind. It starts with a shift towards noticing. It starts with clearing out space in your mind and in your schedule for slowness and stillness.
It starts with seeing, really seeing, and recognizing the gifts around you for what they are.
How do you articulate to fellow believers, to people who look to you as a "strong Christian woman," that only weeks ago you sat on your bathroom floor, barely able to breathe except to utter the words to God or whoever might be listening, "why don't you love me?"
I know this is a topic that we don't really talk about. It's a topic that I, even though I have been a regular church-goer for all 26 years of my life, didn't hear mentioned in the church even once until a few years ago. It seems that in most churches, sexual sin is considered one of the "darker" or "worse" sins, so we don't talk about it, we keep it in the dark.
But I'm going to talk about it here because I believe that Satan works in the darkness.
Our Father does not look for moral competency – for crossed t’s and dotted i’s and straight-line walking. Instead He takes the sin and the shame, He lovingly deals with them on the cross, and He promises to walk with us as we seek to follow Him and know Him more.
His grace. It saves and sustains. It redeems and it reminds. It is forever and it’s also right now. In every moment, over and over and over. It is available in abundance.
What do you do when you so heavily feel the weight of the brokenness of the world bearing down on you? When you are so overwhelmed with the pain caused by sin that you feel suffocated? When your heart aches with the hurt and grief of the people around you?
How do you let it more deeply root yourself in the goodness and love and sovereignty of the Lord?
Saving grace: ascribed to God, grace is his voluntary, unrestrained, unmerited favor toward guilty sinners, granting them justification and life instead of the penalty of death, which they deserve
Reading through this definition I am overwhelmed and humbled.
Grace. Without restraint. Grace. Excessive and Abundant. Grace. Life and hope offered to vile and wretched sinners.
But God loves you…just because he loves you. Not because of you, not because of your righteousness, your personality, your upstanding morals, or your character. He loves you despite your sin and even in the midst of your unfaithfulness.
We are so undeserving. It is such a beautiful love! And such a wonderful Lover.