Ephesians 2:1-6 (the message)
It wasn’t so long ago that you were mired in that old stagnant life of sin. You let the world, which doesn’t know the first thing about living, tell you how to live. You filled your lungs with polluted unbelief, and then exhaled disobedience. We all did it, all of us doing what we felt like doing, when we felt like doing it, all of us in the same boat. It’s a wonder God didn’t lose his temper and do away with the whole lot of us. Instead, immense in mercy and with an incredible love, he embraced us. He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ. He did all this on his own, with no help from us! Then he picked us up and set us down in highest heaven in company with Jesus, our Messiah.
I was thinking about this recently.
I wondered, like the verses above, why God bothered with us at all once it was clear humanity was a rebel race.
I can’t mentally understand His mercy. I can’t understand because my default thinking is set to earning, reaping and deserving.
And I don’t deserve mercy.
So as I was driving last week I thought about how God must see us so differently than we see ourselves. Perhaps the reason God hasn’t scrapped the lot of us.
Our sin-sick living is the expression of our grasping for center, our relentless pursuit of control. Our disjointed effort to be okay apart from the nearness of Jesus.
We do not live in organic unity with Creator because we do not really trust Him with our lives. We don’t trust God or other humans because truth be told we don’t trust ourselves.
Regardless of our pretense, posts and posturing we know the evil within our own hearts. We can’t seem to get a hold of ourselves, our issues, our neediness. We misunderstand that we could have ever gotten a hold of it at all, ever cured ourselves, and so we politely resist genuine fellowship with God. We keep our distance from the bleeding vulnerability that would truly remake us. We rebel and grasp and refuse to yield.
We live fractured, wounded lives and grow accustomed to the feel of scar tissue beneath our fingers.
Oh how we need this immense mercy, this incredible love. And mostly we agree, yes we do!, but then we refuse to settle into it. Honestly don’t know how.
We need to be held and safely kept in the hand of Almighty.
Our squirmy resistance is our unbelief. We won’t be still inside this miraculous offering of peace because we don’t deserve it and haven’t earned it.
No, we don’t and we haven’t.
The crux in the matter of living.
I drive HWY 42 and think how we are all just a fractured humanity needing Jesus to set our bones to right. Set our hearts to heal. Set our soul to safe-keeping.
We must finally allow ourselves to slide into His grace. To recognize our defense mechanisms, our controlling and unyielded living as the symptoms of our disease, not the cure.
He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ with no help from us.
We are certainly no surprise to God. Our most secret sins and ruinous choices–past, present and future– are accounted for, already smeared red with the blood of Christ.
Our fractured lives, our broken minds and hearts, our unyielding will can be reset, restored and revived in His embrace. There is nothing we can do, need to do, except believe, be still and be held.