As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. 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.

       Ephesians 2: 1-5

Why Me?

I am a sinner. I admit it. I own it. Even though I am a child of God and a follower of Jesus, I am so very, very imperfect. I wish all of my imperfections away, but alas, I am who I am, and I struggle– daily—sometimes hourly–to be a better human. I feel so unworthy, and often wonder “Why me?” “Why do I get to reap the love of the heavenly Father?”   I don’t deserve it. I didn’t earn it. Actually it is quite the opposite. If the world offered up to me what I actually deserve from my behavior……             

I don’t even want to think about it. 

What is it that keeps me from falling off the edge? Some days I wonder what keeps me from JUMPING off the edge.  

I think that all of us, at one time or another have had one of those days. A day when nothing seems to go your way. Maybe you have had one of those weeks, or months, or years. Sometimes it is an hourly struggle to just dig in your fingers and hold on to the edge. 

“The moment you are ready to quit is usually the moment right before a miracle happens. Don’t give up.”

Unknown

 

 

There was a time, several years ago, that I was hanging on to the edge of the cliff with white knuckles and bleeding fingertips. I wanted to just let go and fall away.   At the time, things looked bleak for a happy and fulfilled life. Inside, I was lonely, and sad and lost, although on the outside looking in, I was happy and successful with many friends and a loving family.  I was a good actor, and not just for others to see but for myself too. I created a life that I could be okay with.  I thought I could make everything work and that day by day, life would be all I ever wanted… and for a while it was. But what was actually happening was out of my control and an unsettled sadness was lurking and creeping and pursuing me until one day I couldn’t control it any more. I feel apart inside. I woke up on the edge of the cliff.  It was as if I stepped outside of my body and looked in at the mess I had made. I could see no way to clean it up without making an even bigger mess.  The masquerade was over. I had failed– completely and miserably –and there was going to be fall out.  I  was at the proverbial end of my rope. 

I don’t mean to paint a dark picture. There were many happy and wonderful times. I had so much to be thankful for and to be content and fulfilled with. Life was good to me. I was so blessed, but there was an emptiness I can’t explain, and it ate at me until one day I couldn’t hide it anymore and I cried out to God. 

You must understand that at this point in my life I was a believer in the story of Jesus. I had a little church background, but was not active in any faith of any kind. The basis of my Christian thought was that if I did the right things; if I was kind and good to people; if I wasn’t mean and hateful then I was okay with God.  I had an old King James, red letter bible on a shelf that I believed to contain the word of God, but I never bothered to read it.  I was as lost as a goose– thinking I could do it all, and handle it all, and control it all.  I was so wrong. I knew I needed help but I couldn’t bring myself to tell anyone what was happening in my soul. I didn’t think anyone would understand. I just knew that I had made a mess so deep that no one would be able to show me the way out.  I didn’t know what else to do  but blow the dust off that book and search for an answer. It was my last resort. I read, and sobbed, and searched. I cried out to God for answers. I needed to know what to do and I desperately prayed for help and guidance.  I was so broken and felt so alone. 

God heard me. He reached down and pulled me up from the edge.  It didn’t know it then.  I was clueless and hopeless and still very lost. I know now that from that moment He began to work in my life- quietly and gently guiding me away from where I was to where I am today.  I know now that the moment I asked for His help He was there. He was there even before I asked, just waiting— waiting for me to give up my control and let Him take the lead. I imagine Him saying “It’s about time! ”  

His help came in the form of a stranger. A random, unexplained meeting of a person that I would have never have chosen to know; a person that was so different than myself; a person that I  tried to ignore; a person that had a  heart full of Christ and an love for people… and talking…. and listening.  A person that God intended me to meet and to know. A person that would show me the way to find hope and joy in the love of Jesus by simply listening and caring. Granted, I didn’t go into trusting in God’s love without kicking and screaming, but with patience and humor, compassion and kindness, he walked with me and sometimes carried me through the mess I had created until I came out on the other side – renewed and alive in hope. 

Once I was able to take all of my mistakes and bad decisions, my feelings of worthlessness and my desire for control, my wrong doings, and poor choices and all the other ugly in my life and lay it all down in front of God, a new  spirit was breathed into me.  It took a while for me to realize that I was lovable,  and forgiven. It took me even longer to forgive and love myself. But I did. I didn’t deserve God’s love, I didn’t deserve His grace. I certainly didn’t earn either of those things, but I was given them anyway. The hardest part about receiving a gift as great as the grace of God, is knowing that He can love you so much that there is nothing you can do accept to receive it. Receive the blessings He wants to give to you  without trying re-pay Him. You can’t. Your debt was paid by Jesus  and He is there holding you up and pulling you back off that cliff   

————EVERY————–SINGLE————-DAY.

All you have to do is cry out for Him and He will be there.

I know.

I’ve been on the edge where you are. 

Don’t let go- reach up.

 

1 thought on “Grace

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>