I wear it around my neck these days, this Word mercy, that changed everything for me.
This richness of God, sent from the profoundness of His deep love. A generous love I can barely grasp– a kindness I’m still at a loss to comprehend.
I remember a time I thought I actually understood it, in my pious, pastor’s-wife life. Not that being a pastor’s wife had anything to do with it at all. But it was the thinking of an ignorant good-girl, who thought she only needed grace in small and trivial ways.
But after my failure?
After my lies, and secrets? After the affair that destroyed life as I knew it, and brought me a new life?
In the midst of that mess, I stood face to face with my complete and utter depravity.
Shocked at who I’d become.
Unable to recognize myself,
And disgusted by all I’d been capable of.
And even more so. Afraid.
Afraid I had crossed an irrevocable line … especially with God.
I remember so clearly, how I slumped in my car that desperate day, listening to the message about divorce. Still wondering if I’d gone beyond the grasp of God’s love.
Wondering if willful sinning had finally disqualified me from the richness of God’s mercy. Because there were some who would say it had.
I was hoping I was wrong and groped for any morsel of encouragement or hope that I could still be okay with God. All the while still suspecting I may have been uninvited to the gift party of grace.
And since sharing my story, I’ve talked to enough broken people like me to know I am not alone.
We mess up.
We trip and fall.
We live with regret and seared memories in our minds. And smells, people, and even music can trigger them at any time.
The moment we were date raped and figured promiscuity might as well follow.
The moment we saw the images and became addicted to their power.
The moment we swallowed that first drink, with addiction being the consequence we deserved.
The moment of the abortion. The sound of the instruments and the finality of the future that would have been.
Dreams awaken the past. And our hearts are haunted by the choices long ago. Choices we made when we knew better.
These choices that were before us…
When our willpower was too weak,
When our resolve was too rickety,
And when our failure, in the end, felt so final..
Like a stain we wear of a past that defines us, in the deepest parts of our souls.
A mark on our heart telling us we’re beyond Him.
All the while carrying the shame. Guilt. Rejection. Depression and despair.
Our God is rich in mercy.
And His Mercy Found Me, and I will never be the same.
Because that’s what our God does.
EVEN when we feel dead in our failure, dead in our sin, and dead in our transgressions, if we surrender to Him, He chooses to make us live.
HE does it. It is ALL Him.
And not only does His mercy and great love pursue us, resuscitating us to life–as if that’s not enough!
But He goes further. Much further.
God raises us up. Pulls us out. Rescues us. And redeems it in His time. [Tweet that]
He seats us near His Son, that we may experience the riches of His grace in kindness toward us forever and for all time … an experience that will never ever end.
And it all starts with His. GREAT. Mercy.
But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:4-8 (NASB)
How have you struggled to surrender your past?
How has God ‘s mercy found you?