Distress and Grace

I wept today.

No, it was not because someone did anything or said anything cruel to me. No circumstance came upon me that was so shocking that I broke down in tears. In fact, I had a lovely morning with my family. God provided safe travels home and a wonderful dinner with a sister. I came home and got to catch up and unpack. It was a day overflowing with blessings.

No, I made myself cry.

I made it my goal a few days ago to study love more, to study the Word more, to love God more. After all, to know the perfect One is to love the Him who is Love.

God gave me my opportunity to love on the flight home. Two people sat next to me (I was in the window seat) and He pressed it on my heart to share the good news that changed my life forever. For several minutes I mulled it over – but truly, what is there to think about? What is love? It certainly isn’t looking the other way when people who cannot believe in whom they have not heard and continue living that way. But that is what I did. And what is that? Some may say “it’s fine” – I call it unloving cowardice that grieved the Father today.

What was wrong? I wanted to share. I was thirsting to share. I have been yearning to share. But the time came and He answered my prayer for an opportunity, and I was scared. Scared of what? What is there to be feared in this life when we live an eternity either apart or with the Lord? And by God’s grace He has chosen me to believe and be with Him – why did I choose myself and my comfort instead of praying and fighting for the souls of the people next to me? In that moment, I chose to love myself. I wasted the opportunity.

I am not perfect nor will I claim to be. I am held accountable for my actions as a child and slave of a holy God who loved me to the uttermost and loves the world, not desiring for any to perish but for all to come to repentance, and I ran away from that command during that flight home. How much more I have to grow, and how humbling it is to once again (over and over) prove to myself my weakness. Oh Lord, please make Your power complete in my shortcomings and magnify Yourself! Oh Lord, please let those people hear Your Word and the glorious truth that can also transform them, even though I was too cowardly to say a word! Oh Lord, please help me to trust in You and love You and others more than myself! What does it matter if I “save” my pride and let people go on to destruction without warning, for eternity?

One thing I would dearly love to see if the Lord wills is to see someone saved. And every time it happens and He brings another into His flock, to see yet another. How am I expecting to take part if I speak not a word? ‘Tis foolishness that I don’t care for and yet default to. Lord, please give me grace. I have already seen a glimpse of Your mighty power in my life, more aware these past few years. And I know You are continuing to grow me in maturity, ordaining circumstances and all things according to Your perfect will. For Your glory, not mine. Praise God, never mine.

God works all things for good for those who love Him and works all things for His purposes. He does. And this is a promise that is kept because He made it. I am confident in this. He promises to perfect the good work He has started in us and to do all things for His glory. As much as tonight distressed me as I see even more the depths of my sinfulness and self-love, truly, there is such hope knowing God gives a greater grace – a grace that covers my sin and continues to sanctify me until the day of glory. A promise because of the price Jesus paid on the cross to set us free.

We may fall, but we will rise up because God is for us. Who can be against us? What can separate us from the love of God? Can failures, shortcomings, our cowardice, our pride, self-love, or shame? Surely I will say, again and again, with a joyful shout as I advance on my knees, NO!

I write this not to lament my shortcomings or to wallow in despair. I know them and know there is even more I do not see that God is revealing to me as I draw nearer to Him. As light shows all the dusty corners and dirty spots in a room, His perfection is showing me how much I lack and how I am completely helpless apart from Him.

These thoughts I share to encourage you, brothers and sisters, not to be disheartened when we stumble. Because we will stumble.

These thoughts I share to encourage you, brothers and sisters, to not follow after what I did today but to pursue all things for the glory of God and to joyfully charge forward in obedience to His commandments!

These thoughts I share to remind you, brothers and sisters, that in Him only is there joy and victory. Do not turn to the left or the right but run hard after our Father and Judge! He is the perfect Shepherd Who is guiding us home to glory.

Thank you, Lord.

I love You, Father.

This entry was published on January 3, 2014 at 7:53 am and is filed under Love. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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