Well, it's been a minute, friends. Life has been a little crazy here in Walton World as we're navigating some new territory - figuratively and literally (more on that later!). If you've been waiting with bated breath for my next post, my apologies.
So, there's something God has been stirring in my heart recently. I've been in many conversations with dear friends about the various seasons of life we are facing and often find ourselves wrestling with. I've been encouraged by so much from these precious conversations, but also burdened by so much. I feel like God has put this on my heart to encourage others...here, specifically.
It's about GRACE. Hold on tight, dear reader, and prayerfully read these next few paragraphs. At the end, if this word has encouraged you, will you share it? Will you pass along the link to a friend who needs it? Or share it on your social media? Because here's the thing - we don't know everyone's battle. What if it's your friend, spouse, family member or co-worker needs to hear this in their season of life?
On the realz: Sin is awful. It's THE THING that separates us from relationship and fellowship with the Holiest of Holies. It builds a seemingly insurmountable wall that creates distance and disappointment and discontentedness. And let's also be reminded here that ALL SIN IS THE SAME - there are no "little" sins or "big" sins in His view. My gossip and failure to set Godly priorities with my time is just the same as someone else's adultery or addiction.
But GRACE, y'all. Grace is THE THING that restores that relationship, tears down that wall. Not working to do more or be more or give more or anything "more" - just with standing with arms outstretched in repentance allowing God's grace to pour down on us like an unexpected summer shower. Play in it, friends! Don't grab an umbrella and try to protect yourself from it. Don't run away from it and try to hide under the nearest shelter. Let it soak you slap to the core. Sticky clothes, crazy hair, running mascara, ruined favorite shoes and all.
Why is it so hard to accept this grace He so freely offers? Why do we "protect" ourselves from it, oftentimes even running from it?
My guess is that we have a really jacked up image of God's response when we come to Him with a repentant heart to confess our sins. I think we sometimes see Him responding like an angry wife who has just strewn her cheating husband's dirty laundry across the front yard for all the world to see as she pours out her hurt and wrath on him in a screaming - and very public - verbal assault. "There is it, people! All the things! You're a no-good, sorry, cheating excuse for a human being," she screams for all the world to hear.
But that's really not God's M.O. AT ALL.
So, let's just erase that image for a minute -- or forever. What if...
* We see Him instead as Abba Father - our Daddy.
* We see Him as a loving Father who allows us to crawl into His lap in the quiet of His study.
* We see a gentle man who welcomes His wayward daughter/son into His arms.
* We see Him as loving Father who already knows exactly what we've done, but LOVES US JUST THE SAME.
* We see Him as a forgiving Father who corrects because He loves us too much to let us act "that way."
* We see Him as a loving Father who guides us back to the right path out of deep and unwavering love for us and His sincere desire to not let us wallow in misery and shame any longer.
I've been there, friends. Oh, how I've been there. I've been in that nasty mud pit that Satan built to trap me, just wallowing in my sin and shame far too often and for too long. Covered in mud and cloaked in misery because I believed the lies that I'm not good enough, my sin was too big, my baggage to heavy, my future too bleak.
Lies, sweet friends. All lies. Because it's not about what I've done (or will do!)...It's about what Jesus did. That is where this precious gift of grace comes from.
How precious are those moments in His lap! How tender and new are His mercies EACH DAY! I danced in it, friends! I danced in His abundant grace and felt the freedom. I let it wash over me...And because of this precious gift, I can dance in it EACH DAY!
So, today. Will YOU dance in the rain with me? Will YOU let His mercy and grace pour down on you?
Amen. And Amen.