You may hear me talk a lot about God’s grace and unconditional love on this blog. And that may make sense since the title is “His Love is Better than Wine”. But I don’t discuss this topic so frequently because I am such an expert in understanding His Grace and Love. I actually discuss it because I’m not. I have this insatiable desire for perfection, and I’m just now starting to realize that this is actually a bad thing. In all honesty, even with this knowledge, there is a part of me that still wants to hold on to my idea of “perfection”. But I know that part of me is not a part of Christ and thus if I follow that little voice in my head rooting for perfection outside of Him, well, I will be as misguided as those who seem to wear their imperfections on their sleeves. Which would be all of us really.
About 12 years ago I fell in love with Jesus. Not just me, but a whole group of us. We were utterly, wholeheartedly, zealously in love with Him. He chose us to be the leaders of our generation and we eagerly answered the call. We were a naïve little group of kids of the King, but we were passionate. Many of us are still following Him, but we are no longer as naïve. There have been confusion of identities that surfaced in the forms of a variety of sexually immoral failures, some leading to lifelong consequences. We’ve experienced broken covenants, homosexual lifestyles, drunkenness, abuse and more. The pedestals we sat on were kicked from underneath us and we sat on the ground in startled confusion. But God was not the least bit confused. His Grace and Love remained.
Christ has kept me in the midst of the fall out. Even when I experienced my own failures He quickly rushed in, put me back on my feet, and led me on the path. But I asked myself, “how do I know what sinful behaviors await my future?” “How do I know what is in me, that will come out as a result of life circumstances, traumatic experiences and the like?” Well, I don’t. I have no idea what awaits me. I have no idea how the sinful nature will show forth its ugly head. And so I prayed a simple prayer. “Father, no matter how far I may feel I am away from You. No matter how much darkness it seems I am surrounded by. No matter how confused I may get at the circumstances of life I find myself in, and the reflection in the mirror seems unrecognizable. Please, bring me back to You”. Because that is all that really matters: being with Him. Not being socially acceptable. Not having happy Facebook photos of the ideal family with the ideal house and the ideal life. But being with Him. He is the only one who can bring us out of the darkness.
In addition to my devotionals and my scripture readings and my time in prayer, I now listen to podcasts of parents discussing having children who become teenage parents themselves. I now read blog posts about gay Christians and how to do life with them. I now let go of my preconceived notions that Christianity should look and feel and smell a certain “way”. Because that belief was never rooted in Him. That belief was never the gospel. And I want the gospel. Anything less will only bring behavior modification and not true transformation. Anything less removes the power of the Cross and the sacrifice that cost Him everything.