crazy love, crazy grace
i have been meaning to write this post for about a week. the beginnings of it were rolling around in my head when i posted last time, but i wanted to take the time to really flesh out my thoughts before putting them down. and day after day i've thought "i really need to sit down and do that" and i've gotten caught up in other things.
last week i started participating in a book club, and we're going through the book crazy love by francis chan. the assignment for last week was to read chapter 1. i had read the book before, so as i sat down to read the first chapter last tuesday morning i didn't really think much of it. i wasn't anticipating anything mind-blowing or earth-shattering because i just needed a refresher - i knew what the book is about.
so i read along... yep, yep, uh-huh... yep, i remember this... right, uh-huh... and then:
i got hit by a ton of bricks right there in the middle of chapter 1.
"As much as we want God to explain himself to us, His creation, we are in no place to demand that He give an account to us... Can you worship a God who isn't obligated to explain His actions to you? Could it be your arrogance that makes you think God owes you an explanation? "
-crazy love, chapter 1, p. 33. [emphasis mine]
and there, in that very moment, i realized how arrogant i truly was. because even in the midst of the joy that miracles still happen, and hope dies last, and the thankfulness for a second pregnancy that is still healthy, and still progressing, i was still questioning. i was still having trouble trusting. i still wanted to know why i lost the first baby, and why the process had taken so long.
i still had a lot of questions.
and while i believe that it is not wrong to question - to voice those questions and cry out to God, it was wrong of me to demand an answer from the one who created me.
he doesn't owe me anything. he is God. but i had a sense of entitlement. i had a sense that i deserved to know the answers to my questions.
but the truth is, i don't deserve grace. i don't deserve mercy. i don't deserve forgiveness. if i'm really honest with myself i'm a pretty selfish, horrible person. [and that's exactly why i don't like to be honest with myself.]
and after all of that, i got another dose of humble pie on sunday. for the past few weeks we've been going through the Lord's prayer in the sermon series at church. this past sunday just so happened to be the part that says "and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors."
yeah. big slice of humble pie.
because it's really easy to recite it. really easy to say. really easy to think that people should forgive other people, and other people should forgive me, and i should forgive other people. that'd make the world a better place.
there's so much fighting in so many places in the world because one or both groups have been wronged in some way, and one or both groups want vengeance.
if we could find a way to forgive the world would be a better place. and frankly, it's easy to wax eloquent about the value of forgiveness. it's easy to tell people they need to let go of what happened in the past and just move on.
but, as our pastor said on sunday, now think about trying to forgive the person, or people, who have hurt you so deeply, who have caused you so much pain and heartache, think about forgiving them. the person you don't want to be in the same room with, the person you don't ever want to see again because of the pain you feel just thinking about them.
it's really easy to think about forgiveness in the abstract. it's soooo much harder to apply it to life.
but i have been forgiven much. so much. so much that no one else knows about. and if i have been forgiven so much that i can be free, if i have been forgiven more than i could ever possibly hope to pay back, how much more willing should i be to forgive those who have done far less to me?
we serve a God who loves us so much, it's crazy.
we serve a God who has extended so much grace to us, it's crazy.
crazy, undeserving grace.
a freedom like that found nowhere else.