Monday, June 3, 2013

Forgiven, again

Just when I think I'm growing; just when I think I have finally grasped something about what it means  to belong to Jesus; just when I think that maybe I'm actually doing that thing he made me to do, I fall face first into the reality of my own brokenness.

I trip over an eagerness to please.

I stumble over misplaced trust.

I am overtaken by a critical spirit; I criticize myself most of all.

I am too easily wounded; too easily discouraged; too easily paralyzed.

I am steeped in awareness of my own sin; bogged down by the burden of my selfish motives; drowning in despair over yet another failure.

Flat out guilty, I ask Jesus if he will forgive me.

He says, "yes!"

(He always says, "yes.")

Then he lifts my chin and waits.

He's waiting for a willing heart. He's waiting for renewed trust. He's waiting, not for perfection, but for acceptance of his grace, his goodness, and his mercy. He's waiting for them to seep into my soul.

I unwittingly resist because I want to somehow be worthy. Or close to worthy. I'd like to find something in myself that merits this unrelenting grace. This goodness that never ends. This mercy that never asks, "Really? Did you have to do THAT again? When will you learn?"

He knows I may never learn. And still he forgives.

Finally his love wins out, breaking down the barriers to my brokenness, filling in the cracks with the salve of his his grace. Goodness and mercy follow me, no matter how often I tell them, "Go away! I'm not worth it!"

And then the joy breaks through, like the first beams of the rising sun. The joy of a soul set free, a heart bathed in redemption. Gratitude overwhelms as I once again grasp the truth of the gospel: I am forgiven.

Finally, I lift my eyes to meet his gaze. No hint of condemnation, no shadow of disappointment. Just delight in a daughter he adores.

I will never understand why he loves me, but I am so glad that he does. 
Five Minute Friday