Friday, March 19, 2010

Take Grace


I tend to gauge my closeness to God based on my performance. I know I shouldn't, but old habits die hard. And there are some aspects of this mentality that are true. For example, Jesus says if we love Him, we will obey Him. St James says faith without works is dead. This is all well and good.

And I want to love Him. With all my heart.

I mess up.

I guess we all do. That's why St John reminds us we can come to Him, confess, be forgiven, cleansed. We need Him to love Him.

And I need reminders of His love for me. Because I forget that His love is not based on performance.

The perfectionist in me can not understand why a God so holy, just, perfect, would love me. The words come back, softly... forgiveness, grace.

I can give you a theological definition of grace. But do I know what it really is? What it really looks like? Why is it so hard to receive forgiveness, grace, love?

Fear.

Fear He will stop forgiving. Stop loving me. Get sick of my failings and falterings and rebellions. Get tired of washing this heart that keeps getting cluttered.

Be still and know that I am God. I will never leave you nor forsake you.

My heart struggles to grasp this truth. To absorb, be lost in the hugeness of it, yet held close to His heart.

My husband tells me I am beautiful. And struggle to believe Him. My God offers forgiveness. And it feels too good to be true. I wonder, can I, even I, be changed into His image? Mirror something of the loveliness, the grace, He lavishes on me?

I receive and do not understand. But in my way, I venture to trust. To have faith. And I am grateful.

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