“BUT GOD is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!).” Ephesians 2:4
This time of year is always a time of reflection for me. I’m not sure if it’s the fact that the year is nearly over or the mysteriously beautiful season of Advent that is upon us, but I always find myself pondering what the year has brought and specifically what the Lord has taught me through it. Normally this consists of me acknowledging a few themes, lessons, or events that have defined the past give or take 365 days or so and that’s the end of it.
However, as I sat down to write this morning and began to reflect on the Lord’s mercies, the past year, what he has carried me through and where he has brought me, all I could do is weep. Sitting in the middle of my bed, in a pile of fluffy blankets- I cried. And cried. And cried. Overwhelmed by the Lord’s never-failing love for me that has outlasted the most bitter and darkest of seasons, and how he absolutely delights in showing mercy to His sons and daughters.
Most of my life, if I’m honest, I have never truly seen my sin and the condition of my own heart the way that the past year has revealed to me.
I am more grateful for this than I could ever explain.
The more I have seen how lost, how broken, and how truly sinful that I am- the more I see how rich in mercy, grace, and kindness my Savior is. “His power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthian 12:9) has never rung so true. Never have I seen the bitterness and ugliness in my own heart more- but amazingly, never have I see the Father’s heart for me so clearly.
One of my favorite songs this year has been “Mercy” by Amanda Cook. In one of the lines she sings:
“Oh Love, great Love
Fear cannot be found in You
There will never be a day
You’re uncertain of the ones You choose”
Death to life. This is our God. We are chosen, loved, embraced by an all-merciful Father who brought us out of the fire and into His loving arms. There is NOTHING to fear.
So lets drop the facade of perfection. I am most certainly not perfect, you are not perfect, so let’s love each other well in that. Without Jesus, we are all in the same sinful, broken place. NO ONE wins here. He has won it all for us. We have a God who breaks the death trap of comparison and a desire for perfection and replaces it with the grace He has so mercifully shown us. The most powerful way we can demonstrate Jesus to this dark world is by boasting of the Lord’s grace in our own stories. As we walk in love and share our stories of hope- stories of weakness and redemption, we are telling the story of the Gospel. Testimonies of the Lord’s grace over and over again.
All praise to the one who paid it all.