Do you ever wake up and feel the weight of how much you fell short the day before? I do. It can feel crushing. Regrets are pretty convincing when it comes to defining our identity and deciding our future.
To be completely honest, the Bible is often the last place I want to go with those feelings. Why? Shame. Fear of more guilt. Anger. Realization of unworthiness. I mean come on, it sounds nice to say that forgiveness could be mine freely again but how is that possible? I know God says we can have a fresh start no matter what. But honestly, what does that even mean? It doesn’t make sense.
The latter is correct, it does not make sense. We can’t understand the type of unconditional love that would have to exist in order to give such measures of forgiveness. A mercy that covers any and all mistakes and redefines who we are over and over again is mind-blowing. But that doesn’t change the fact that it exists nor does it revoke the offer we’re given to receive it.
Jesus gives us a grace that requires faith. A scandalous, confusingly large amount of it that we cannot receive if we do not make the choice to believe in the One who offers it. He not only wants to give us forgiveness, He also wants to clean up the messes we have made in order to give us a real fresh start – every day – no matter what.
Jesus gives us a grace that requires faith.
But we have to choose to accept and step into it.
We have an enemy who would like to twist this concept and make it something that sparks fear instead of comfort. His slimy artist cap is on and he’s ready to paint a picture of something that causes us to shrink away from Jesus. He thinks that if he can get the lighting just right the giant mountain of grace will cast a shadow that spooks us. After all, nothing that big could be safely attainable.
But attainable was never part of the equation. That’s the opposite of the Gospel. We never deserved it. We never will. We CAN’T.
We don’t earn forgiveness. We will never be able to pay for our mistakes. We can’t afford the price of a ticket to Heaven. We are lost, broken, imperfect people who thankfully serve a perfect God. A gracious and merciful God who sent His only son to die for everything we could never earn or pay for.
Jesus died to rescue. To become a safe place in an unsafe world. He protects us from what should ruin us, even when it is our own actions that cause the pain.
He protects us from what should ruin us, even when it is our own actions that cause the pain.
So this man called Jesus and the book that holds His words are where we should run to when we mess up instead of shy away from. The Bible is alive and active and just like Jesus, it is ready to wrap us in a safe embrace again and again and again.
“I run to you God; I run for dear life…You’re my cave to hide in, my cliff to climb. Be my safe leader, be my true mountain guide…I want to hide in you. I’ve put my life in your hands. You won’t drop me. You’ll never let me down.” (Psalm 31:1,3-5 MSG)
But will you still be there like that when I let you down? Even when I hurt you and myself? When I mess up over and over and over again?
And God says YES.
He wants to be our safe place. He longs to be our guide. We can trust Him with our lives, but we must surrender our doubts in order to do so. Just like it takes faith to obey His commands when we don’t understand, it also takes faith to accept the gift of a constant clean slate. It’s too much goodness to comprehend on our own.
Above all of the noise in my head I am starting to hear God’s voice whisper promises that I believe He wants you to hear too: Put your life in my hands. I won’t drop you. I won’t let you down. I have always loved you, I still love you, and I will love you forever no matter what.
“No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:39 NLT)
Further Reading: Romans 8:31-39