I don’t know about you but I don’t like making mistakes! I don’t like putting myself into situations where I am likely to make mistakes! And when I do make mistakes I prefer to forget and avoid them as best I can. I feel a strong sense of shame when the memory comes to mind, its easy to berate myself and to assume that others disapprove of me just as much as I do… others and in particular God. This has come into focus for me recently as I head back to South Africa and will need to deal with some of the fall out of some of the mistakes I made as I left South Africa just over 12 months ago.
And then my spirit whispers to me about Grace. I don’t understand Grace. But I do know that when I am in Grace, its OK. I know that its not about what I do or don’t do, what mistakes I make or don’t make. And in that moment I know that my God and heavenly Father does not have a frown on his face. In fact he is smiling on me. In my spirit I sense that it’s very much like the parent eagle when the egret’s are learning to fly. It’s OK that they flounder and flap and plummet to the ground the first few times and Ma or Pa eagle swoops to catch them. They don’t scold or lose hope. Whether they get it right or not, it doesn’t change the fact that they were MADE to fly, meant to fly and Ma and Pa will patiently work with them until they can.
AS my spirit whispers to me about Grace, I also see the cross again, and I realise that if the cross and all that is around it is true, then Grace is really Grace; and the past doesn’t in fact need to weigh me down like a huge iron chain and ball around my neck. All is in fact, forgiven.
Sometimes when I make mistakes I want to retreat and never try again; or at least have some kind of safety harness or get out clause or something. Either way, living as if the past, this mistake, has somehow become a current reality that defines me… and shame lingers. When I do that I deny that Jesus death was effective and I deny that Grace is mine because of God’s heart, not my performance.
I want to live as though I believed the cross were true and Grace were the air I breath.