I love my birthday. It is at the time of year when summer is starting to creep in and flowers can be planted without too much risk of frost (what I have done with my birthday money for years). But this year is even more significant than remembering the day of my physical birth. As I watch nature awaken and blossom, I have been spending a bit of time thinking my spiritual birth and my spiritual journey. I have been wandering thru the swamp of shame and the fog of doubt while looking back at where I have been. I have been following a trail of hope scattered with tracks of grace.
(Ok, put simply, I have been looking at where I have been and where I am, by the grace of God, in preparation for giving my testimony on Wednesday to become a member of my church, tho I have to admit I liked the earlier, more interesting
Back to the story, I have been feeling some yucky stuff over the past couple weeks, you know, that undeserving and guilty feeling that slithers in and sets a perimeter around our spirits if we let it that causes us to stop any forward motion and close ranks to prevent being vulnerable. I have stubbornly refused to listen to it, knowing that it can bring nothing good into my life, when I came upon this passage from Max Lucado's book, In the Grip of Grace (1996):
"....who told you that you deserved forgiveness the first time? When you came to Christ did he know every sin you'd commetted up until that point? Yes. Did Christ know every sin you would commit in the future? Yes, he knew that too. So Jesus saved you, knowing all the sins you would ever commit until the end of your life? Yes. You mean he is willing to call you his child even though he knows each and every mistake of your past and future? Yes.
Sounds to me like God has already proven his point. If your sin were too great for his grace, he never would have saved you in the first place. Your temptation isn't late-breaking news in heaven. Your sin doesn't surprise God. He saw it coming. Is there any reason to think that the One who received you the first time wasn't received you every time?"
Wow. Sometimes, in my self centered way, I think things like this are written just for me, maybe for a birthday present...Thanks Max, oh, and you too God.