Thursday, February 4, 2016

of grace + pleasure

"Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure. For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol [the grave pit; hell] ... You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore."

It wasn't that long ago that I was sitting beside the Kailua Bay on the big island of Kona, Hawaii. As the sea-salt scented air blew my brunette hair across my sun-kissed cheeks, a deep seated sense of guilt plagued me.

"I feel so guilty for having such a wonderful time."

"Is this even okay??"

"I don't deserve to happy."

"Because I'm having such a wonderful time, something horrible is bound to happen soon."

As I took another sip of macadamia nut latte, I realized that maybe I don't fully understand what G R A C E is. Maybe I don't fully understand what it is to taste fully of the goodness & sweetness of God. For many years, I have known God to be a dasher of hopes and dasher of dreams, and that to be holy & set apart for God meant to live a life of misery and suffering. Deep in my heart, I've believed that to be happy was not okay - because if I was happy, there must be a sin problem in my life.

Oh! My thinking has been so wrong & so far from the truth.

G R A C E is merely a free gift, offered up for the recipient to enjoy & drink freely of with no conditions.

How crushed I would be if I was to offer a gift to a friend, to only have her hold it at arms length & say, "I don't want this. I don't deserve a good gift." My face would show bewilderment, hurt & frustration, "My friend, this isn't about how good or bad you are. I'm merely giving you a gift to show you that I love you & care for you! Why can you not just accept it?"

I wonder if my Father's face is cast with a sadness when He sees that I hold His good gifts at arm's length in reluctance, instead of fully enjoying them for all that they are ... because that's all they are - good gifts.

I don't have to try to BE somebody in order to earn His acceptance of me. He breaths over me,

"You are enough. 

I love you just the way that you are."

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