The words of the old hymn caught my ear as I fiddled with the church bulletin and struggled to settle in to the Sunday service, mentally, physically and spiritually.
Some Sunday mornings are like that, after all.
The cross hangs in the front of the sanctuary, and yet my world is spinning around it so fast I can hardly focus on it. So much grief and atrocity, illness and loss, temptation and the subtle idolatries of daily, suburban survival cloud my mind from the peace and easy yoke my Savior offers.
And that’s just the external concerns of life.
Internally, I struggle with being good enough to deserve God’s redemptive, adoptive, unfathomably unconditional love, let alone write stories about it.
And yet, as the words of the old hymn poured over my restless doubts, my wandering heart, and my stained and ugly soul, I realized I’m right where God wants me.
Although God might appreciate a perfect life, He knows firsthand there is no such thing.
And so He chases after the unfettered soul.
He salves the bleeding heart.
He woos the wayward sin-whore.
He runs to the pig-sh**-laden prodigal.
He catches us with His mercy.
He showers us with His grace.
He doesn’t just put white-out over our sins and stains and pain.
He removes them.
He forgets them.
And then He co-authors a new story with us.
A story no scroll can hold.
A story no ocean of ink can supply.
A story of grace, eternal.
There’s some glory in that, friends, isn’t there?
“God is sheer mercy and grace; not easily angered, he’s rich in love. He doesn’t endlessly nag and scold, nor hold grudges forever. He doesn’t treat us as our sins deserve, nor pay us back in full for our wrongs. As high as heaven is over the earth, so strong is his love to those who fear him. And as far as sunrise is from sunset, he has separated us from our sins. As parents feel for their children, God feels for those who fear him.”
Psalm 103:9-13 (TMV)