Monday, April 25, 2011

Unmerited grace

I have often read the accounts of Jesus' last days, and every single time I get so frustrated when the disciples fall asleep.  It just ticks me off and makes me sad and feel all mad and protective and judgmental...and a littlebit superior.  Which is utterly ridiculous because I am full of the goofy and if I had been there I would likely have lasted about two seconds before failing Jesus completely, but still.  It just hurts me to think of Jesus' agony and their selfishness.

I observed Lent this year.  I had never done this before but really wanted to see what God would teach me through my re-settled focus on Jesus and all He's done for me. 

Well, I certainly learned a thing or two.

I learned I am weak.  and selfish.  and tragically lacking in self-discipline. and full to the brim of a dark heart that evidently loves itself more than Jesus.


I understand that this should not be particularly shocking to me... I've lived with myself for quite a while now.  But I like to think I've grown over the years, that I've learned from my mistakes and from the zillions of sermons heard and notes taken and songs sung. 

Yet here I am with insides still filled up with all manner of the unattractive.  And I find myself quite surprised - and a bit devastated by my smallness.

I persevered throughout the 40 days, and many days I was able to keep the commitment I had made to my Father, but there were other days when I just let go. 

My commitment wasn't even a particularly painful one...just forgoing a little something that was completely superficial and self-indulgent in the first place.  Abstaining from sugar is not a life-or-death struggle.  It's a choice.  And those times when I grabbed that Pepsi and guzzled it down I was most definitely making a choice.  

A choice to deny. 

A choice to fall asleep...

Over these last 40 days I again became acutely aware that every day of my life I am a sinner in need of a Savior.  I remembered once again that there is nothing good in me, and that my heart is, in fact, desperately wicked. 

HoweverGod already knew all of that!

He knows I am weak and selfish.  He knows my heart longs to choose Him but will too often choose myself. 

He knew I would guzzle that Pepsi even as I was committing to Him that I wouldn't.

(I just love Him so much!)

Because He knows my wicked heart and my smallness, He sent Jesus to do what I couldn't. 

The whole point of Christ on the cross and that empty grave was His full awareness of my desperate need for Him!

...and He loves small, weak, well-intentioned me with all that He has and is.

Thank you, THANK YOU, Jesus, for loving selfish, sleepy, unlovable me and giving me...Everything!  I suspect I will fail you over and again for as long as I live, but I can - and I will - claim your precious grace and mercy.

...And I will praise your name forever!

(A thousand gifts #467)

Beautiful, priceless, unmerited, abundant GRACE


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