But what if you had thought of that? What if you did know that? What if you grew up being told those things your whole life?
At times I’ve felt like, because I’ve “known” those things for so long, been told them so many times, they’ve lost that “first-time wonder” effect. I know – silly, right? God’s truth not having the same staggering effect the more times you hear it? Pshaw.
At those times when I found myself wondering how it would feel to experience those things afresh, I’m reminded that I do. I experience them again and again when, like a sheep, I’ve wandered off and gotten distracted with something and his truth comes and lands in front of me. I can’t help but see it, and it’s beautifully simple.
That’s what I’ve realized (even more than before, though definitely not fully): that the more we hear God’s truth, the more it should and does affect us. The more we are confronted with it, the more effect it has – even though sometimes it doesn’t feel like it at times. It has history behind it then: the history of our choices that brought it about, and what we did with it.
Recently, I brought myself to voice a thought, a question, that I hadn’t realized I’d been thinking. Once I actually said it aloud, I knew the answer: Do I fear that, when I sin, God won’t be with me that day? That, even though I “know” he’s always with me, does that still count when it’s a mistake I chose, or when it’s a mistake I’ve made way too many times?
As soon as I asked it of myself, I laughed/cried. Out loud. In disbelief that I could have let myself believe such a lie and in relief and thankfulness that I knew, without a doubt in my mind, the answer: yes, I had been letting myself fear that. But I didn’t have to because the answer to the second part of that question was No! Just because I sin, that doesn’t mean God ditches me. Not over anything. Ever (let me also clarify that I’m not saying there aren’t any consequences for sin – there are, but that doesn’t negate the fact that Jesus still loves us and will never leave us).
This was exactly one of those moments when that “fresh” realization of God’s truth enveloped me – so much so that it felt like it was for the first time again.
Romans 8:35, 38-39 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?…For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
This just made me see those pieces of myself lying around me, once again.
The thing is, every time my vision is filled with those pieces it’s also filled with the person who’s gently picking them up, his hands bearing the evidence of my salvation. He picks those pieces of pottery off the floor and he uses gold and himself to seal the cracks back together, stronger than before. He takes great care in doing so, making sure there are no imperfections – he’s got a knack for that (it’s a skill singularly special to him!). He places it on the mantle above the fireplace and lights the wick inside of it, letting the flame burn bright and cast light around it. And he smiles, sitting back to admire it.
I could have missed this, had I not taken a closer look at myself, had I wanted to keep thinking I was okay, had I been scared to be gobsmacked by the truth that is God’s,
laced draped covered brimming gushing with God’s love.
I could have pretended my pieces weren’t pieces, but with his love, I don’t have to.
“‘Cause I love you, and I promise I always will.
I love you. I promise I always will.
And I chose you. Forever I choose you still.”
I Promise I Always Will -Steffany Gretzinger