God amazes me. It's not so much the breathtaking grandeur and infinite variety of just the smallest bit of his creation, this planet among billions, earth, (though I am blown away by wonder everywhere I look and each and every day) but I am even more blown away when I ponder his nature, his character, the infinite depths of faithfulness, the workings of "grace" - that he loves me!
It comes so unnaturally to us created ones. I will struggle every day of my life to accept the meaning of grace in my life. Unmerited favour. There is nothing I can do to make him love me more; nothing I can do to make him love me less. He is always ready to draw me back towards home, always willing to take me through that "eye of the needle" (humility) and into his safe and solid arms again.
This week I experienced more than my usual amount of "slippage". That's what I call a backward slide down the slippery slope of self-centeredness, away from grace, and relying pretty much on my own devices. It's a miserable place to be, yet so comfortable, somehow, at the same time - as though that was where I was always meant to be. Once down there it seems impossible to get out and I start to look around for things with which to make myself at home. A television program here, a video game or two there, and of course mountains of food. It's not like I ever intend to end up there. There are little decisions made, a turning away here, a small hardening of the heart there. The door is left open - just a little - for pride to come in, and quickly becomes my bedfellow.
A desperate prayer breathed just before falling asleep last night, a gentle stirring of my heart upon waking this morning and I sense the Father waiting, arms open wide - completely undeserved. Yet again, I am blown away by his mercy, I am overwhelmed by his love... Unmerited favour at work in my life.
It's so, so, good to be where my heart truly belongs. It's so good to be - home.
Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy.
May your Kingdom come soon.
May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us today the food we need,
and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us.
And don’t let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one.
(Matthew 6: 9-13 - The New Living Translation)
For you are ablaze with beauty that outshines a thousand, thousand suns! Grace without measure flows from your throne without ceasing or ever letting up. Who you are, Lord - ever loving, ever forgiving, ever kind, ever faithful, ever good - is truly glorious. Amen.