Archive for December, 2013

Broken glass

The law doesn’t bring salvation. Only grace can do that.
She lay there hurting. I knelt down and turned to her, grasping her hands as my knees hit the ground. She didn’t look up, curling inwards, her grip on my hand became tighter. “I am dying,” she said. Her hands were cold, body shaking. Tears stained her face, and at that very moment I knew it was true. “I am drowning in sin, and all I want to do is give up. I didn’t sign up for this. I don’t know what to do.”

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I wanted to remind her of God, but I knew what she would say. She had heard it all before. The verses, the ‘encouragement,’ the empty words spoken when one simply doesn’t know what else to say. I could tell her, “God doesn’t give us more than we can handle.” But even I could see that she was broken.

porceliandollbroke

She lay there, curled up, not even noticing the silence. I lay a blanket over her, but she kept shaking. I heard her struggling to breathe. Tears slowly fell down her face. Her mutterings became words, and her words became a story. After she finished, I grasped around for something profound to say. Something to make everything okay. But I found nothing. I broke the silence with another story, this time my own.

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There are moments when we think things can’t get any worse. But they do. We then get lost in the coping mechanisms the world provides.  And we slowly turn away from God. When we try to turn back  in faith to grace, the Devil reminds us at every turn the many reasons why we don’t deserve it.

glassbroken

Some stop going to church when the ‘hospital for sinners’ becomes a club for self-named ‘saints.’  The rest are left confused because they thought they could come to Christ as they are, not as the church wants them to be. But they simply aren’t ‘clean’ enough to be accepted. One can lie, be proud, backbite, be greedy, and the church would accept them. In fact sometimes the church is led by them. Those inward sins can be well hidden and are thus acceptable as the sins of the ‘saved.’ But those however, buckling under the sin of the sinful, are openly shamed for their lust, uncleanliness, and worldly habits. Looking for grace they found judgement, looking for love they found the law, looking for mercy they found condemnation.

But then I thought, what if we began to seek God despite ourselves, and embraced the idea that maybe he still loves us, and is still with us even when we fall and when we are broken. Maybe the hardship is part of his plan. And maybe he isn’t trying to break us, but to be our strength.

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Sometimes we hear the voice of God clearest when we are in the dark, and there is no one else present to drown out his voice. No friends, no family, no loved ones. When we finally realize that nothing can fix the hurt, mend the heart, and wipe the tears better than God can. The biggest deception in the world is that we are alone: alone in our pain, alone in our suffering, alone in our hurt. The accuser of the brethren, the devil, has come and he seeks not only to deceive but also to discourage us. But we are not alone. God knows, God understand, and God hears.

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God is always calling out his people to come, and the devil tries to tell us that we can’t go. But the greatest act of faith is looking up to God and believing that He loves us as much as he says he does.

To follow Christ, keep the faith, and hold onto hope, we have to believe in something we’ve never seen anywhere else: Reckless grace. Unending mercy. Infinite love.

Remove your doubt. God loves you.

The view is clearer down here.
Rock bottom, eyes open.
God using the broken.