There are some days I wake up and feel free – free to talk to God, to tell Him my thoughts and feelings. I feel free to smile at Him and tell Him good morning. I don’t feel an anvil of guilt resting on my chest or a concrete wall of my own design hiding me from the Lord. There are some days I feel like He loves me. And honestly, there are some days I doubt that He does. And if He does, it has to be forced, annoyed, fed up love.
But something’s been stirring in my heart the last few weeks. I was reading through my prayer journals that have been started and left unfinished from the last 5-10 years. There are many, many times I penned the same line: “I am the scum of the earth”. I wrote out my list of sins and vowed that I would work harder to not be that way. I swore up and down that I would be better if God could just forgive me. I saw God (and still sometimes see Him this way) as a distant, conditionally loving Father with the same capacity of forgiveness as I have. Which, by the way, isn’t that large.
I was, and still can be, absolutely wrought with sin. It was the slimy, grimy, entangling sins that hold you captive and make you feel like the absolute scum of the earth. I’m not talking about little things here and there – I’m talking about the seemingly impossible sins that make you feel ashamed that the ability to commit them is inside of you. You had no idea the potential for you to be that lustful, that prideful, that deceptive and manipulative, that wickedly bitter, that maliciously prone to gossip could capture your heart and erupt from within you.
You make mistakes of which you didn’t think you were capable, revealing the nature of our flesh time and time again.
He has made it abundantly clear to me in the past through others and His word that He has already paid for my sins. He already took care of them and all I have to do is come home.
“But God, this sin is too much.”
“But God, how can you love me when I am so unlovable?”
“But God, everyone found out and turned against me.”
“But God, you have to be disappointed in me. I just can’t stop, and you have to be tired of forgiving me.”
“But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, 5 that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!)” [Ephesians 2:4-5 NLT]
Friends, listen to me. I’m telling you this because it’s what I’m learning right now. The Lord is pouring a fresh revelation of this into my heart at this moment, and I will go crazy if I don’t share it.
God already knew what addiction you would fall into. God already knew what mistakes you would make, who you would betray, what lies you would tell, the people you would gossip about. He already knew the times you would run from Him and rebel. He knew, but He still says “You are my beloved child in whom I am well pleased. I choose you. I chose you in Creation. I chose you on the cross. I choose you in your slimy sin. And I choose you to spend forever with me.”
Christa Black Gifford wrote a book called “Heart Made Whole” which has completely rocked my world. I read a line last night that has sunk deep into my core that someone needs to hear today.
“Love loves for the sake of loving.”
Love does not have an agenda. Love does not have a condition for His love. Love doesn’t expect anything from you in order to be loved. Love doesn’t keep tally of your mistakes. God is love. And His love is never ending, even when we feel like the scum of the earth. His face never changes. His eyes are always looking on you in love.
You are still welcome at His table no matter what you did before dinner.