All throughout this week, I’ve been walking around wondering what is wrong with me. I have these unrealistically high expectations for myself, and when I don’t meet them, I tend to beat myself up. This week was probably the worst it has been in a very long time.
This was the first week of my new job. I went in with skewed expectations. I expected to walk in and for things to go as planned…though I admit I don’t know what the plan was and as far as I can recall, no plan was really given. So, all week, I felt as if curve balls were thrown at me. For all I know, they were pitches right down the middle of the plate in my zone, but because I didn’t know my strike zone, I felt as if I struck out every time. This wasn’t the case. The work that I did this week was quality–despite feeling like I was run over by a semi-truck from Tuesday through Friday due to an unexpected cold.
Why do I write this? Well, for starters, this is Amazing Grace Sunday. Next Friday the movie Amazing Grace is released to the theaters. Churches all over the world sang “Amazing Grace” as part of their worship service, signifying the upcoming anniversary of the abolition of slavery in England. Today, our message in church was on grace.
Funny thing happened before church and during worship. God spoke to me about how I am too hard on myself. He told me that I have to take it easier on me, that if He has allocated grace to me that perhaps I should do the same. He also told me that His promises for my life have not changed. Right now, I am walking through something necessary for my life. The very first scripture that God gave me for my life is Isaiah 61. So, during worship, the gentleman who lead worship today stops and reads a scripture that Jesus read in the Temple. It was the text of Isaiah 61.
As I was sitting here trying to process everything that has occured this week, I have realized that I have been fighting what God wants to do in my life. I have been bucking and gnashing my teeth, tearing my clothing and putting ashes on my head. I have been a pain in the (you can fill in the expletive here) to everyone, including and escpecially myself. The comparison that I’ve come up with is a woman in childbirth. When my sister gave birth to the two older kids, she called her boyfriend every name in the book and then some. But, when they saw those beautiful children, all was forgotten and forgiven.
So, then, what is so amazing about grace? Grace is what separates Christianity from all other religions. I don’t have to die a martyr’s death for the approval of God. All I have to do is lean on Him, allow Him to be my strength, my joy, my peace. I have to ask Him for wisdom during trying circumstances. God sent Jesus to bear the weight of my sin. God sent the Holy Spirit to be my Comforter. God did all of the hard work. All I have to do is accept His gifts.
What is so amazing about grace? Whenever I repent of the sins that I’ve committed (being too hard on myself, having a bad attitude, scowling at my Husband while giving birth to the vision that He has placed inside of me, to name just a few) I can rest assured, knowing that I now have a clean slate. God has forgotten my sin…He cast it into the sea of forgetfulness. If He chooses not to remember, why shall I then remember? It is my responsibility to view things through a God-filter rather than through the lens of my experience. It is my responsibility to spend time with the Lord. It is my responsibility to pray, to read the Word, to worship rather than to react as my flesh would like me to react. It is my responsibility to accept the gift that God has given me…the gift of grace.