Yesterday, while driving back from a weekend away with family, I looked out of the window of the car and saw the signs of spring. It was a cold, windy day and although the temperatures indicated that spring is still a distant hope, the budding flowers on the trees were evidence that this is not the case.
I stared in wonder at the textures, the dark grey cloudy sky, the green fynbos, the beautiful pink flowers and yellow canola fields. Peace overcame my heart and I just realised, live goes on in the middle of it all. Seasons start and seasons pass, yet through it all He is faithful.
Last night we experienced a thunderstorm, something that is not common here in the Cape. It was loud and both my husband and I woke up to the thunder. We looked into our baby boy and saw him sound asleep. The wonder of his peace in the middle of the storm, made me look at Jesus. All these things just bring me to my knees. He is a God far above my understanding and expression.
Last week I felt a prompting to read the crucifixion. I finally feel bold enough to type this: If Christianity seems legalistic and full judgement to you, I can now honestly say, as someone that finally embraced His Grace in my life, you believe the wrong gospel. Just reading through Mathew made me realise this God is a consuming fire of love. I don’t read judgement, I read sacrifice all out of a pure heart of LOVE:
[Mat 27:45-54 NKJV] 45 Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land. 46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” 47 Some of those who stood there, when they heard [that], said, “This Man is calling for Elijah!” 48 Immediately one of them ran and took a sponge, filled [it] with sour wine and put [it] on a reed, and offered it to Him to drink. 49 The rest said, “Let Him alone; let us see if Elijah will come to save Him.” 50 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. 51 Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split, 52 and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; 53 and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many. 54 So when the centurion and those with him, who were guarding Jesus, saw the earthquake and the things that had happened, they feared greatly, saying, “Truly this was the Son of God!”
Imagine just the absolute shock of the soldiers when they realised that they indeed did crucify the Son of God!
See, here is the thing, we all fall short of the glory of God. We are all enemies of God. Maybe that self-righteous Christian caused you to stop believing in Him. If this is true, I am so sorry that you experienced such judgement, but I can tell you it is not God.
See moments before Jesus died and all these miracles happened at His death, just proving that He is indeed the son of God, He prayed: “Father, forgive them as they do not know what they do. ”
In this prayer, one can see His heart. In His darkest hour, He forgave and still gave up His life to buy us free. Our fight is not against flesh and blood. It is not against the person who judges, persecutes or even maliciously hurts you. It is the devil who had a right to our lives. His right was to kill, steal and destroy. And here is the shocker. We gave him that right. At the sin Fall, we chose the lie of the enemy above the truth of our Maker and through this, we became enemies of Him.
Then God sends His son, while we were still enemies of God, and set us free from the curse we brought upon ourselves. He made a new covenant with us that doesn’t have to be sustained by us, but by His perfect grace in us. This is all Love.
Not one of us has a foot to stand on. We don’t have a wagging finger to show, we only have the grace that was freely given and I pray that you, hurting due to all the judgement, may see this.
You are not you, without Him.
When I think about all of this, I am truly humbled. Really, my life is glorious, but I do know it is really not because I was acting gloriously. I do too struggle, yet every time He comes and restores. I am completely baffled.
My prayer is that one day my boy may know this God and follow Him.
Like so many others before me, I now stand in absolute awe of Him.
“Saam met engele wil ek ook nou iets bring, my woorde is min, maar hier moet ek begin want U is Alles vir my.” -Retief Burger.