"Amazing love, how can it be? That you, my king. would die for me. Amazing love, I know it's true. Its my joy to honor you. Amazing love how can it be? That you my king would die for me. Amazing love I know it's true. Its my joy to honor you, In all I do I honor you"
I believe in the power of the cross. I believe that Christ came down from heaven, was born of the virgin Mary, lived a perfect sinless life and then gave His life for me and the whole world on the cross, only to rise from the dead three days later and now He resides in heaven at the right hand of the Father. I believe His choice....His Sacrifice....His Gift....covers me. And I am grateful! Yet, there are times when all that belief...all that knowledge...just gets stuck in my head and never really makes it into my heart where it changes me. And every once in a while I need to be reminded of it. Today was that day.
All weekend I've been beating myself up for being such a self-centered jerk....for assuming I know what people are thinking and why they act the way they act and thus responding in not so Godly ways. I've been mad that while I want to live a life of love...grace..mercy...peace...and forgiveness...I often don't. I've struggled to see how God could choose someone like me, who clearly can't seem to get my act together on a continual basis. And I've wondered if He's as disappointed in me as I am with myself.
Then this morning I got up late. I was tired and kind of cranky and still walking in the overly sensitive state that caused me to cry last night for no good reason. From the moment I got out of bed things just weren't going my way. I made my coffee too weak....I couldn't find my favorite sweater....my scraper seemed to forget that it's sole purpose for being used is to actually scrape the ice off my windshield...my nephew's friends were parking in my spot...etc. And by the time I headed out to church the only prayer I could seem to muster up was "God, I need you".
When I finally got to service I was feeling so distracted. I struggled through worship drifting between not being able to focus on anything and noticing strange details like how many of the men in our church had gotten haircuts in the past week. By the time worship ended I was feeling like a pretty bad Christian for being in a worship service doing anything but worshipping God. And so as the sermon began, I once again just began to pray, "God I need you". The sermon was interesting and I took a lot of notes to try and keep myself engaged in what was being said. But honestly it wasn't until the last five minutes that I actually felt like I was getting it!
I don't want to sound all kooky and weird....but it's also kind of hard to explain without sounding a bit like that...cause it was as if, all of a sudden I was reminded of the power of the cross.....and I was overwhelmed! So often I act like I am an island...I don't need anything or anyone...I am good on my own. But today...it was like God came down, put His arms around me and said... I've got you... I've covered you... I've chosen you... You are mine... and I love you. I felt like a child lost in the freedom of knowing my father will take care of me. In that moment I didn't have to worry about anything....not the the future, not the past, not people, not situations....I was just lost in love.....amazed by my Father. I left service feeling somehow different....like I was given permission to just... Go...Be...Love.
I guess in part that is what the cross does. It reminds you who is God and what He's done. It also helps you to see yourself for who you really are and to fully grasp what you've been given in Christ. It shows you a love that is not based on the standards of this world, but rather flows out of the upside-down kingdom of God where the first is last, the last is first, the poor are made rich, the hungry fed, the orphan brought into a family. It teaches you a new way of life where it's no longer about you and them and us, but about God and doing everything for His glory!
It's funny how I left my house this morning feeling like such a sinner because the only prayer I seemed to be able to muster up was "God I need you" and now tonight I stand here in the grace that flows out of that simple truth. I do need God...every moment of every day....and the best part is....He's here!....the Cross is that proof!