Beautiful Grace

Come...If you draw out your soul to the hungry and satisfy the afflicted soul, then shall the light rise in obscurity and the darkness be as the noonday. And the LORD will guide you continually and satisfy your soul in drought, and make fat your bones. And you will be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. (Isaiah 59:10-11)
Jesus answered and said unto her, “Whosoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whosoever drinks of the water that I will give them will never thirst. For the water that I will give will be in them a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” (John 4:13-14)

My Beautiful Saturday

IMG_20150725_150101As I sat beneath vine-covered arches, I could not think of the heat, but only of the beauty in everything; the beauty in the breeze, the Sun, and the peace that filled me. Even the fountain that stood at my feet could not help but be influenced by the wind, which pushed the falling water droplets with an invisible hand, turning them into a masterpiece of falling crystal. I breathed in and looked up to peak through the twisted vines and leaves. The breath of heaven lightly pushed past the leaves to rest upon my face with warmth and peace. As I rested in the Son, I reflected that beauty is not so much what is seen on the surface, but what is able to shine through adversity; what is revealed through the touch of grace. In any situation, beauty can be revealed and unearthed like a discovered time-capsule filled with treasures that only became valuable through the passing of time.

However, life is not like a time capsule, where we may simply bury the ugly things and hope that whoever finds them at a later time will see them as beautiful. No, we must hold our time within our hands and then let it go; laying it at the feet of the One Who is Grace. He alone can take those ugly things within and turn them into beauty. His eyes alone know who we are and who we will be, yet still loves the least of these. It is He Who moves and flows like the wind. Through twisted vines and leaves, He shines and brings into focus the light. And as the air begins to clear, the tears that fell from weary eyes shimmer in the light of the Son and they are dried by a gentle breeze.

Those who trust in Grace will not be put to shame. Those who rely upon Justice will not soon fall. Those who run to Mercy will find open arms. Those who drink the Living Water will never thirst again. Those who eat His flesh and drink His blood are conformed to His death, and are bound to eternity above. Those terrified by such concepts fear the wind, run from the light, and refuse to be cleansed…

The truth is that Grace is harsh, because it reveals the ugliness for which Grace is needed. These hands were covered in blood, this mind shrouded in shadow, and these eyes cannot unsee, yet Grace still hung upon that tree… Justice is exacted on the wicked and upon the righteous, but only One was just, a claim that no one else can make. And Mercy implies that I do not receive what I deserve, though I foolishly ask for what I deserve. But when I hit rock-bottom and look up, I see how far the hand of Mercy had to reach in order to pull me out of my self-dug pit. There is no way to wish away misfortunes and mistakes, but there is a way to see past the pain and uncover beauty through brokenness.

Drink of the Living Water; eat of His flesh and drink of His blood; count your own flesh as loss. Sin is not worth eternity, but Life is worth everything we have.

John 4Through My Eyes

Through my eyesI stepped out in the heat of the day, knowing that I am too far gone. Everyone around knows my shame, so I secretly draw my water. There is no one to speak to me, and no one will see my need. But there was One waiting, and He asked me for a drink. Then He told me that He had water that would forever quench my thirst.

“What a crazy notion,” I said. “When You have nothing withal to draw.”

However, the well He spoke of was a spring unto everlasting life. So I asked that He give me this water to drink, but first, He required something of me. He asked a question that would reveal my shame, but I was clever. Since He did not know me, or even my name, all I had to say was that I had no shame. However, within His reply, He revealed that He knew my shame all too well. He knew how I had fallen at least five times, and how I was living in sin even then.

How could this man know so much? He must be powerful, to have such knowledge. I told Him that I wait for a great Messiah, and He will know all things, to which this Man replied, “I AM He.”

I kept my silence at that reply and ran home to proclaim all the Man had said; how He knew the depth of my sin… yet still chose to speak with me and offer me life. May all who hear my testimony believe as I have believed; that the Man Who spoke with me is the Savior of the world.

The name of the Man – the name of Grace, Justice, and Mercy; the name of the One Who offers Living Water – is Jesus Christ; the only begotten Son of God. He came to give life, but who will accept it? Who will be healed? I am counted as one of the redeemed, healed, and set free; and by the grace, mercy, and love of Jesus, I have gained life. Will you be counted with me?

If we were never broken or never allowed our weaknesses to show, then the rest of the world would not see how beautiful God's light shines through us, and can shine through them. We don't need to have it all together for God to shine through us, we just have to realize that there is beauty in weakness and God uses the weak and foolish things of this world to confound those who profess to be strong and wise (1 Corinthians 1:27).
If we were never broken or never allowed our weaknesses to show, then the rest of the world would never see how beautiful God’s light is when it shines through broken people. We are all broken people, but only those who have submitted to Christ are granted the gift of seeing that brokenness turn into gold. So, no, we don’t need to have it all together for God to shine through us, we just have to realize that there is beauty in weakness and that God uses the weak and foolish things of this world to confound those who profess to be strong and wise (1 Corinthians 1:27).

Now, O LORD, You are our Father;
We are the clay and You our Potter;
And we all are the work of Your hand.
By Your design, all of this was planned.
(Isaiah 64:8)

No longer Forsaken, but chosen of God.
Where once Desolation, now called Beulah.
Oh, we are Hephzibah, the delight of God.
Make ready, for the Bridegroom comes.
(Isaiah 62:4)

AMEN!

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