Just As I Am

without one plea, but that Thy blood was shed for me,  and that thou bidst me come to thee,  O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

healing

Just As I Am – a familiar old hymn to many. At the church I attended in my childhood we sang every verse during the closing each Sunday morning. It is more precious to me now than it was then, as I could never understand the full meaning in those words until walking a few decades on this planet.

Sadly, we diminish what God has done and all that we sing about when we call into question the working of Christ’s blood as redemption for the sin of any individual. Not me, you think? Have you ever looked at someone’s life and thought “Wow, they have made such a mess of their life. And they really need the grace of God“?

Christ is the Great Equalizer. Do we not each really need the grace of God? We live in a sin-ravaged world, one in which the enemy will take every opportunity – from regret and self-loathing to pride and self-sufficiency – to separate us from the Father’s love.

Once upon a time, there were two people. One person, feeling pain and despair from the wrong choices he had made in just a few short years of his very young life, cried out for God’s grace and healing from the depths of the miry pit, accepted His forgiveness and love, and walked with a grateful heart in close communion with Him.

The other person cried out to God from the alter of the church in which he grew up and had never strayed very far, and in which he now served. Having made good choices in life, he didn’t understand why this devastating circumstance had fallen upon him. It didn’t seem fair, but he knew he needed help from above.

Is one more worthy of God’s help? Aren’t we all unworthy? Which one has more richly experienced God’s grace? I will be bold and ask you to examine your heart. Have you ever needed the Physician? Do you need him still?

Do not be deceived by the enemy. Whatever you are facing and wherever you have been need not keep you from running to the One who cares for you. The perfect Lamb of God, born in the humblest of circumstances, left the glorious presence of the Father for 1 reason, 1 purpose – to bear our sin, our shame, our burdens. His blood poured out for us, Christ conquered death and lives victoriously, patiently, lovingly waiting for you to come. O Lamb of God.

Matthew 9:12, On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick”. This important truth can also be found in Mark 2:17, and again Luke 5:31.

Advertisements

Humility

“You act like you are the 1st person to go through a divorce”.

This was the chastisement I recently received from a fellow Believer, and like a knife driven in deep it cut to the quick. This friend has, by their own account, never experienced any major grief events in their life. This is a first for me.

I’ve discussed Encouragement from the Body of Christ in a previous post, and it is clear that God instructs us to carry the weak and be patient and longsuffering with one another. The “one another” are our brothers and sisters in Christ. As a Believer, my Hope rests in God’s faithfulness. I trust Him to provide for my physical, emotional, mental and spiritual needs. There is no doubt in my mind of my salvation through Christ Jesus, or of God’s ability and desire to supply all my needs. My Father wants the best for me, not just the best from me.

This hope, trust, and faith is what ties us together as Believers. The fact that we are truly brothers and sisters in Christ, “God’s kids”, gives us a connection that cannot be broken, cannot be matched, and should be revered.

At this point you may be wondering where all this is leading since I began with “Humility“.

Here is the thing: no one has walked in my shoes. I am doing the best I can each day, hour by hour. I know I have been unlovable at times, and I know I have been angry and spoken harshly; and this genuinely grieves me and adds to my sorrow. When this has happened I was truly at a place of such despair – filled with fear and loss of hope – that I could not move past it. Often times, in the midst of this darkness, I have felt the physical presence of Holy Spirit bring peace, relief and comfort that instantly washed over me.

But God works through people, too, and there have been times when whatever issue had brought on this panic needed to be resolved in my mind. This might be as simple as clarification of a miscommunication, because the enemy attacks us where we are most vulnerable. Once the resolution took place, so that my mind could process the facts and the facts led back to a “safe place”, my entire perspective was changed.

I’m not in any way excusing myself from owning my offenses. I am deeply remorseful and have sought forgiveness from God and from the offended. But I cannot emphasize this enough: the valley of grief is not a familiar road, nor is it filled with predictable circumstances; therefore, “normal” behavior and response to situations get temporarily redefined. Just Google “Stages of Grief” to see what I am talking about.

In this most fragile state, every bump in the road is amplified and devastating. When too many bumps come in rapid succession, the resulting panic may not be understandable to the ones not on that road. As I became more aware of the waves of grief that would overtake me, this too raised my anxiety because I feared it happening again. I have spent more time on my knees in prayer and in Scripture. I have and will continue to take these things to the Lord.

For me there is new-found wisdom in this. I have learned that this is the nature of grief, yet God loves me through it. For those who have not walked this road of sorrow, I am truly glad – I don’t wish this for anyone. But please be mindful of the very real pain that those who are on that road must endure. Empathize, encourage and support them in every way. Do not deal harshly with them and be ready to forgive. Remember that this is a lesson best learned by observation rather than through experience.

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Colossians 3:12

I am still learning what God is teaching, and what I have learned lately is that God wants us to be gentle with those whose spirits are crushed.