Crushed by Love

Shale - looks tough, but crumbles even under a gentle hand.

Gentle at first, God has repeatedly drawn my attention to His amazing grace. He’s used church Elders, pastors, writers, mentors, friends, my kids, blessings, string quartets … and still I fail to understand that I can not earn joy, I can not deserve favor, I can not be ‘good enough’.  I know the words but have not believed them. ‘Surely if I just work harder, have more faith, just apply myself with zeal and vigor … surely THEN God will say ‘well done, good and faithful servant.’

Of course, when I admit this out loud ... it sounds ridiculous.  I can’t understand or know enough, be dedicated or diligent enough. Not ever. I’ll fail, guaranteed.

He must be exasperated with my by now. I am! He’s gonna dish out His wrath at any moment. I sure have it coming…look out!  I imagine Him stripping me of all gifts, abilities, possessions …and breath.

What’s a girl to do? Squirm, lament, whine, hide, weep… mostly hide.

I want to understand, but I don’t.
I want to accept grace, but it’s undeserved. How can I?
I want to serve and love God, but I’m trapped until I get this …

And then something happened –

Instead of the punishment I deserve and expect, God heaps love and blessings on me. They are heavy and overflow. I can’t possibly ever deserve any one of them, but they come in waves – friends who breathe God’s wisdom into my life, increased responsibilities that are bigger than me, opportunity to serve, a new ability that I never knew I had but was a dream since childhood …

It’s too much! I can’t take it! I’ll never deserve this, God. I’ll never be able to repay you for all your goodness! How can I accept this from your hand?!

I never would have imagined that God could crush me with His love. But He uses whatever He wants to, to get us desperate for Him. Only when we are crushed, broken, utterly at our end, do we become desperate for God and wholly rely on Him for strength, mercy, and change.

This happened a couple of months ago, but I constantly forget what He shows me. I need to remember this so I can 'fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave' - the gift of faith.

Help me, Lord! I am forgetful. I have little faith. You know my heart. I have made your love too small. I believe it to be conditional and fleeting - something I can lose. I'm desperately afraid of that. Lord help me understand your love! I don't get it - not at all. I'm a 'foolish Galatian' who came to you through grace and now chooses to earn it. I'm sorry. Help me remember grace. Help me live in your love. Thank you Jesus, that you're here helping me even in times of doubt and heartache. Amen.


MTJ said...

Hi Kim,

As I read this post, I found myself mouthing some of these same words. It has at times been a struggle to stay totally comitted to God and not face doubts about His love and grace, to feel at times unworthy, and address the question of, "am I doing enough to merit His blessings?"

At times it feels like a recorded message plays at scheduled intervals in my head, bombarding me with doubts and feelings of inadequacy but then I feel the embrace of God's love and I gain a greater sense of His presence and peace.

Perhaps I need to write about this from a male perspective; I'd like to think other brothers in Christ have similar experiences. It's something to which I will pray about.

Please know your writing blesses and encourages.

Blessings and peace to you and family.


V said...

Kim, remember people have conditions to loving, God does not AND he loves you DESPITE all your flaws and whether you sin or not. HE ALWAYS wants to give you love.
We must ask, are we always willing 2 receive it?

Faith Imagined said...

God is such an amazing and loving God. We are truly blessed to receive His favor unconditionally!!! Beautiful post!