I forget that sometimes and think it is about me… what I have done, am doing. Or I fool myself into believing that somehow I can:
- come based on my own merit – I mean, I have been good, given to those in need, not gossiped and had my daily quiet time. I have a lot of stars on my spiritual chart.
- get cleanup to be worthy of coming to God, just in case He misses the smudges of sin peeking out from my polished exterior
- or am such a mess that I slink away and don’t come near to God…feeling unworthy, embarrassed or even ashamed at the ugly in my life.
Can you relate? Do you ever get caught in the “It depends on me” trap?
Oh my friends, I have been there, am still there too often than I would like, and I have the “try harder T-shirt” in every color and size.
- we think God’s love and delight in us depends on us. (it doesn’t!)
- we think we have to be worthy to approach the throne of grace, at all- let alone with confidence! (Heb. 4:14-16)
When it REALLY has nothing to do with us!
We are invited into the presence of God because of the Cross of Christ- what Jesus accomplished, not us!
And nothing can separate us from the love of God – He loves us glorious messes because He created us and we are His!!
Our invitation can’t be revoked!
God Love – Your Invitation- is guaranteed and final, finished, completely taken care of!!
God’s love for you and for me is everlasting! (He says so!)
So why do I feel distant from God, so separated, so alone…sometimes?
Or maybe it is more honest to say, “Why does God feel distant sometimes? Where is God when I need, hurt, struggle, am lonely, disappointed..?”
In my best moments, I remember the truth- God didn’t “go anywhere,” I pulled away.
Have you done that too?
- We are the ones who separate ourselves from the God’s presence.
- We take a step back, just a small one, in a moment of hurt or disappointment… angry and confused at what God has allowed in our life.
- Ashamed we aren’t “handling the struggles better.” (what ever that means!)
A bit like the toddler who fears she is in trouble for getting into the cookie jar, or coloring on the walls.
We separate ourselves:
- first with sin & disobedience
- then with indifference, busyness, fear of not being acceptable…
we slink back, we separate.
And still God beckons… gently inviting us… Come.
It isn’t about you or me or anything we have done or not done…
- at the foot of the cross we repent and believe
- at the empty tomb we receive
Jesus knew the end of the story as he walked up Calvary road. Jesus knew what the cross would accomplish.
Jesus endured Good Friday because of Resurrection Sunday.
It is all about the Cross of Christ and what was accomplished there…For you, for me…glorious messes that we are!
Jesus knew what His death on the cross would accomplish.
God’s Invitation, forever guaranteed, never expiring, nothing can change it Invitation to boldly approach the throne of Grace, every day, anytime no matter what…
Like the toddler who is confident in her mother’s love.
An invitation to receive forgiveness – without any to do list, spiritual gold stars or payment- and to plunk down, confident in who we are as God’s beloved, and stay at the foot of the Throne and soak in the never ending love of God.
God is waiting, the choice is ours.
Back to that choice thing again! What keeps you from choosing to go to God no matter what? When do you see yourself slinking back a bit or trying to earn the Invitation to come? What is it like when you come with the confidence of a child who knows she is loved?
Please share your thoughts below. I would love to have a conversation with you about this. And Please share this with anyone who needs to be reminded she is God’s girl, loved through and through no matter what!
*photo by: Justin Great Divide Photography: Chapel Cross, Mt. of the Holy Cross, Golden Grain Cross, Ash Wednesday Cross
**photo by: Julia Blanchard, Ireland