So to be honest, I grew up in a believing home. As far back as I can remember I don’t think there was a time that I didn’t “believe” in God. I may not have been living my faith out to the best of my ability but I knew He was always there. I would talk to Him often, most of the time inside my head. I remember knowing that He heard me and never really doubting that.
I lost my dad at an early age and so in many ways, He was my father and truly the only positive father figure I had growing up. But even still I wouldn’t say that I fully understood God and His nature. I lived mostly with the fear that He would punish me or that I could lose my salvation at any given moment, depending on the way God felt about me that day.
And let me tell you, that is no way to live!
I’m a worrier by nature. I worry about everything; what can happen, what did happen, what might -in the future- possibly happen. I try to think 2 steps ahead because I don’t want to be blindsided by things. It’s something I’ve struggled with my entire life and it’s something that I am still a “work in progress” on. So I’m sure you can imagine, all that worry combine with the misconception I had about how flighty God was. It definitely didn’t make for a secure bond between myself and Jesus.
So when I got older and really began my walk with Jesus, the concept of “Grace” always seemed foreign to me. Especially when it came to my salvation. I mean honestly, when we really think about it. Isn’t Grace the most impossible sounding news, not only did God step out of heaven and onto a cross to be tortured, humiliated and killed but He also promised to not only forgive our sins but completely and totally FORGET them!
I guess when I was a child I sat under a lot of pastors who did an extremely good job at showing me how bad, dirty and unholy I was. I needed that, we all do. We need to see how bad we are compared to His Goodness or we never really see the point of needing a Savior. Also, to be fair, if I weren’t so self-centered in the first place, I would possibly have heard the good part of the story. You know, the redeeming part!
The Grace-filled part!
I’ve come to learn that God’s nature is and will always be LOVE. Love for His people, love for His creation, and love for His Son. He will NEVER leave us, nor forsake us. He will lead us beside still water and restore our souls. He promises to protect us and fight for us and all we have to do is seek Him and let go of the sins He has forgiven and forgotten.
It’s taken me a long time to see myself as the forgiven, and my prayer for you is that you can really see yourself the way God sees you. That it doesn’t take you a lifetime to see that when God says you’re sins will be “remembered no more” that you lean into that assurance. We can’t truly move forward in our journey with Jesus while carrying baggage that no longer belongs to us and baggage we were NEVER meant to carry on our own!
“For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no longer” Hebrews 8:12