On Grace

One of the things that has been most difficult for me to reconcile spiritually is to accept that I am worthy of the love and forgiveness freely given to me by God and Christ. When I was reading a bit, I came across this, from the book of Ephesians, which made it a little more clear:

“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved . . . For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:4-5,10)

Because I have been blind for so much of my life, it is easy to become dejected and ashamed.  I cannot even begin to count my weaknesses, sins, and ill pursuits. I am laid low and humbled. But, still, God is my deliverer. Christ is my great champion. In spite of my flawed humanity, I am beloved in ways I can hardly grasp with my feeble mind.

That is grace.

The aforementioned verse in Ephesians gives me some insight I hadn’t considered before, at least not in depth. By my reading, I am worthy simply by virtue of being God’s own creation.  If I rethink the language I use to consider my own part within God’s plan, the answer is made clear to me. It is simple to think about being created by God. It is simple to think about being created in Christ.

What I had never really thought about, though, was being created for God, and his will. My task is already laid out in front of me–and has been since I was envisioned–and I only need to seek God’s guidance to find it. Because of God’s plan for me, and his love, I have only to ask to be made worthy, because the best version of the life he has planned for me is worthy of His love.  Through Christ’s sacrifice and his own forgiveness, God has given me everything we need to find my worth in His eyes.

Natalie Grant also inspired me to understand my worthiness with her song “Clean.”

There’s nothing too dirty,
that you can’t make worthy,
you wash me in mercy,
I am clean.

Oh, I am coming alive
with joy and destiny
’cause you’re restoring me
piece by piece.
(Natalie Grant)

That foremost stanza of the refrain is comforting to me. Even though my failures and limitations are deep-rooted, and I struggle with them mightily, it’s a great comfort to remember that through God’s infinite power, and Christ’s sacrifice, forgiveness and worthiness are within my grasp.  God’s mercy washes us clean.

I’d like to end this post by trying to capture my feelings in a poem.  This is my first attempt at spiritual verse, so please be gentle:

Like a grain of sand on an infinite beach
I could feel alone or unworthy,
but I am awash with the warm light of your love.
For though I am but a single, tiny stone,
Your radiating glow is my home.

During the dark night, when the cool tide rolls in,
I may feel cold and bewildered.
“Where have you gone?
Why am I forsaken?” I might cry
for I am but a low grain,
and I might forget that you are there.
You watch me, even then,
when you are furthest from my mind.

That cold tide is a boon, I think,
For when day returns, and I feel the warmth again,
my gratitude is doubled and renewed;
You shine on me even though I doubted you.

Prayer of the morning:

Father above us, Father among us, Father in our hearts, Your grace is our salvation, and our peace in times of unrest.  We are strengthened in the light of your mercy.

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