Thursday, January 23, 2014
Thankful for the Gospel.
Coming back into school I have been overwhelmed with the faithfulness of the Lord. Not only in the incredible grace shown to me by those the Lord has given me to grow with, but in all the little details of my day that I so easily miss if I start to live too fast, the way He has sustained me over a long break, and way He has so intricately and intimately provided for my needs that so often I take His attention to detail embarrassingly for granted.
I began sophomore year praying the Lord would teach me what humility truly looked like...and I'll honestly confess that at the time most of my motivation was that I knew I could always be a little more humble, and it sounded like a really good and mature prayer to pray. And then when He began to answer I was confused, because the lessons I was learning didn't look anything like I had originally thought they would. Because I forgot that the first step in viewing yourself humbly and accurately before a loving Savior is knowing and remembering exactly what it was the Gospel saved you from.
Pride for me means forgetting the Lord's kindness and graciousness in shaping me to look more like Him, and assuming that I've done it myself. It's thinking I have the Gospel figured out, because I've heard it so many times that I can spit the words back at you. Because essentially, at the heart of my arrogance, is the phrase "Lord, I'm not sure I really needed saving."
And sometimes, just to remind me that I do, the Lord lets me mess up. Romans 1 says that "although they [man] knew God, they neither glorified Him as God or gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened"...and in response God gave them over to the desires of their hearts. Essentially, to punish them for their sinful ways, God allowed them to do what they wanted to do. And by the grace of God it's not often, but when I begin to take credit for the sanctifying grace of a perfect, holy God, I need to be reminded of my own depravity.
That Bethany before grace, before the Gospel, is not this slightly disheveled, slightly disorganized person that just needs a little growth and a little work. I'm broken, dirty, sinful, depraved, and separated forever from the presence of the very one that created me, because I'm so fallen that I wouldn't even know I needed to be pulled out of the pit I'd put myself into if Christ hadn't relentlessly pursued me first.
The reminder of just how much I don't deserve the grace, love and forgiveness of Christ, coupled with the joy that He has freed me from the law, has brought the Gospel to the forefront of my mind this week, and though the humbling is not fun I cannot help but be overwhelmingly thankful that God is gracious enough to take the time to teach me and break my heart of pride. I am thankful that He is steadfast comfort when the nights are long, patience when I cannot wait for the future, fills me with grace when I need to give it, and will not stop hitting me over the head with the Gospel when I am ashamed of how much I don't deserve it.
I am thankful He puts me back together when I have taken myself apart, and that He is faithful not to my desires but to His perfect plan and endless glory. I am thankful that He does not keep me comfortable, and I am thankful He is more concerned with bringing Himself glory than with keeping me happy or giving me what I want when I want...and I am thankful for the promises written out that I can read when I start to forget.
And I am thankful that I have roommates, friends, best friends, and family that demonstrate the concepts of grace, faithfulness, compassion, love, and hard-spoken truth to me when I need it. Which is daily :)
Here's to second half of our second year. May the Lord never let me become comfortable or complacent about my knowledge of Him :)