I am overwhelmed today by grace.
It’s a concept I have a difficult time accepting.
I’ve never been a “fighter”. I actually am terrible with conflict…which isn’t really a trait I admire in myself. I can’t even handle watching people fighting on TV and often have to change the channel if things get too “heated”. Absolutely ridiculous, I know. I’m a seeker of peace amongst all. The thought of someone being upset with me, quite honestly makes me completely nauseated, and I hurt for others when they’re fighting. I suppose this has helped me to never hold grudges. I’d say I’m a pretty forgiving person. I’ve never been afraid of admitting that I was wrong, and, I probably am most of the time. I can’t imagine all of the times I have hurt other people, so, I try to administer grace to others at all times. Of course, I fail at this, but, I long to love others and forgive others as close to the flawed unconditional love and forgiveness a human can offer.
This has never been the case for myself. I have a much harder time forgiving myself for things that I have done and the things that I do.
I was reading Psalm 78 today and as I read, the words became blurred by the tears welling up in my eyes. Chapter 78 is a “historical Psalm”, recounting the history of God’s people being brought up out of slavery into the Promised Land. The chapter recounts all the incredible things God had done for his people, and the apostasy and consistent rebellion of the people in response.
In spite of all this, they still sinned;
despite his wonders, they did not believe…
But they flattered him with their mouths;
they lied to him with their tongues.
Their heart was not steadfast toward him;
they were not faithful to his covenant.
God’s mighty works that are retold in vs. 9-31 should have been enough to knock some sense and faith into these people, but, they were not. “In spite of all of this they still sinned, they did not believe.”
My heart aches because this is me. This is not some stupid stubborn Israelite we all love to point fingers at and shout, “Oh c’monnn, he parted the Red Sea right in FRONT OF YOU!”
Yeah, well, God’s done a whole lot in front of me too. Oh, and, I’m breathing right now…God’s doing that…he could change that if he wanted to.
I claim to love Jesus, but, I so often get caught up in the things of this world, my “busy schedule”, my wants and hopes and dreams, me, me, me, me, me, me, me with a side of me…I forget what God has done for me. I forget about the price Jesus paid on my sinful unworthy behalf. I seek after other gods. I make other things my life and not Jesus who rightfully owns it.
I know, I know, I’m an Ephesians 2 junkie…but, it’s one of my faves.
“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience–among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But 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–by grace you have been saved–and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness towards us in Christ Jesus.”
The Bible is filled with these “Yet”s and “But” s and they are my FAVORITE. I can’t get enough of them. I get pretty emotional whenever I come across one and whip out the good old dry highlighter.
Right after the above verses in Psalm 78 reads this…
“Yet he, being compassionate, atoned for their iniquity and did not destroy them.”
Dude. I don’t get it. I don’t get it.
We have offended and betrayed and despised and rejected and spat upon a HOLY GOD.
THE KING OF THE UNIVERSE! The God is SPOKE and things appeared! The omnipotent omniscient omnipresent GOD of ALL.
We have OFFENDED HIM.
BUT GOD loves us.
BUT GOD sent his only son to die for us and bear our iniquities and bear his wrath and take our death.
BUT GOD forgives us.
BUT GOD has made a way to reconcile us.
BUT GOD has made a way to bring us back to him.
BUT GOD actually WANTS us to live with him forever.
BUT GOD actually DESIRES to have a relationship with us.
BUT GOD looks at us and sees Jesus and says, “Okay. She/he’s all mine.”
GUYS I DON”T GET IT!
I’m sitting her writing this weeping because I don’t understand. Seriously, I’m a hot mess right now.
His grace is beyond my comprehension. God embodies grace which means it is without end. It cannot cease to exist. There is no measure to it. He will never “run out” of it.
It’s by God’s grace that I even open the Bible and believe that it’s true! I mean, do you ever think about that?? The ONLY reason that you believe is because God by his GRACE allows you to! I mean, WHAT? What IS that?? What have I done to deserve that? Nothing.
My gosh, how I don’t LIVE in it. And, oh how much worse I don’t live in RESPONSE to it.
And how I desperately long to have an unquenchable passion for others to experience and know this grace for it is available and free and open to all.
I’m just sorta in grace shock right now.
I don’t get it. I don’t. But, I am so thankful for the “But God” ‘s in the Bible.