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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

grace.

Common theme lately?...

Grace...

I started reading a new book a few days ago (well, not new, but new to me because I just started reading it)... Ragamuffin Gospel written by Brennan Manning and it's absolutely been rocking my world.

So far (just a couple of chapters in) it has completely been about grace the HUGENESS and UNCONDITIONAL God that we serve and how HIS grace is divine and constant and truly a Holy gift from God.  It hit me pretty soon... my view of God's grace has been skewed for a while.

Up until this point, my view of grace has been kind of like a ping-pong game, if I'm being honest.  If I've been reading, seeking, serving, praying, loving, obeying, and all of the things that you do when you are a "good christian/person" then I'm on the good side of the ping-pong table and completely just basking in God's glory and grace.  During those times, I think more about spending eternity with God and I yearn for it more. Those are great days and I can remember a lot of them and how I felt... but it's kind of like a false sense of security... I feel like I'm earning it. I feel like the more I can do and the more I can TRY to think about God and nice/wonderful things, then the more security I have in getting to spend eternity with Jesus.

Then something happens (pretty quickly)... I become human and terrible... engulfed in my sin, unfocused, selfish, narcissistic, needy, and full of anxiety... and at that point... my view of grace sends me like a rocket to the other side of the ping-pong table. Back and forth between being saved by the Grace of my creator, and shunned to the pits of hell for my mistakes and shortcomings.  It's days like these that I become fearful of my God returning to save the Earth while looking in my eyes to tell me I can't come with Him.  I hate that side of the ping-pong table.

A friend of mine spoke in chapel last week about grace and this ping-pong game theory that a lot of people (like me at least) have adopted.  I hadn't ever put words with the way I viewed it, but I kept listening and it really hit me hard... so then I kept reading this book...

Everyday I feel like I keep learning more about my God and the Savior of the EARTH... It's like the lightbulb finally went off in my head to affirm that MY GOD SENT HIS SON AS THE SACRIFICE. For me. For ALL of mankind. So that I (keela. keela evans. me. the worst of all sinners.) could spend eternity with Him. Because He loves me? that much? no way. Can't be.

I just can't get over it right now.  I have sat here for years and claim that the almighty Lord of the earth is alive and that He saves... and I truly believe that! That He sent His son to cover our sin and that we are forgiven in His Holy and precious eyes.... but all along thinking that from day to day my desire for God to return and take us home was really just dependent on how much I had tried to earn it.  What a fool I am.  Who am I to think that anything I do or don't do can affect the love that comes from our Savior?! I can't get over it. Really. 

I only know the FEELING of grace at this point (because I can't touch heaven yet... but please don't judge me for saying that) from personal experiences, stories, and examples.

I know what grace is from my sweet Andrew... I know what it feels like to know I don't deserve his love but it's still unchanging (I know we aren't married yet, but we have gone through a LOT of learning about grace over the past few years).  

I know about grace from my parents and family...no matter how long it's been, how terrible I've acted, how many wrong things I've said... their love and encouragement still remains.  I think about the way that God is our FATHER... my dad? He couldn't stay mad/sad/frustrated at me for more than a day.. how much more grace can my HEAVENLY father love?! (I know there isn't a comparison and I know that God is so much huger and completely uncomprehendable but if the bible can compare a father's love... I will too... Maybe I'm paranoid. whatever.)

I know about grace from my Meredith... wow... if there is one person that knows my darkest of darkness and lowest of lows it is her. and she STILL wants to be my friend/mentor/kindred Spirit? She's taught me so much about grace. So much.

I guess right now I just can't believe that my God's grace is ACTUALLY really and unchanging. I can't believe that He would do that. That it DOESN'T depend on me... that the sins and thousands of flaws don't keep me from swimming in the sea of God's grace.  I believe in GOD and I (think) I always have... but I really do think that this may actually be one of the first times (I think I've been here before, but forgotten... good thing God forgives... get it? grace? pardon the pun) that it's actually been setting in. It's just crazy.

Maybe this was a soapbox... I didn't mean for it to be. but wow... I really just feel the presence of God and his grace all around me. It's crazy.  I can't wait to keep reading and learning and hearing and growing.  .. not because I'm trying to earn my ticket to heaven, but truly because this whole grace thing is actually unimaginable. 

Happy Tuesday :)

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