Thursday, December 11, 2008

Why Is Grace So Amazing?

We need to be near God. Just to be in his presence is to know life, and there, fullness of joy fills the air. Yes, he has charisma, but it's more-- he has substance and energy, he is zoe. If we are separated from God, death ensues. If we are not in the light of his presence, there is nothing but darkness of soul, emptiness of heart, despair of tomorrow, and vanity.

God knows we need him, and yet our sin separates us from him. The discerning among us know we need him too, and that our sin separates us. Many who have such insight, in response, ache to be holy, righteous, in order to correspond to the God who is life, so they can be near and breathe in what he is. Toil and struggle to align themselves with the holy God becomes the religious quest of such folk, but there are dangers lurking for such valiant efforts.

Glad of God, but disappointed with self, melancholy shadows their days. Grace, to them, is that God doesn't give them what they deserve: they do get to hang out with God, but with their heads hanging down, their own feet filling the view. What about grace should be about us? Grace is not obsessed with our unworthiness nor our inabilities. Grace is about God, about his kindness, his love, his desire to share himself with all he has made.

Grace is entire in its grant of acceptance. There are no ifs, ands, or buts. Grace starts out with everything being right, and then works backwards. It leaves the subject peaceful, not striving, and never uncertain. Grace moves us to a place with God; unfortunately, our thinking often has to run after to catch up. Thankfully, grace has strong hands.

Grace is amazing because it elevates us to mountaintops we could never climb ourselves. Grace is not crampons, or oxygen tanks, nor downy jackets that aid us in achieving what we could never achieve naturally. Grace is a helicopter ride to the top. It brings us near God without self-consciousness. We're not the issue, nor is our incapability of the climb-- the issue is God and how spectacular the view is standing up there beside him.