Me: I am happy that the Lord has blessed this day.
Prodigal: You can always find a blessing in every day.
Sometimes it hurts you, that you can’t do it for them. You can see the other side. You can see how this will bring in peace, but you can’t do it for them. As my friend described her sorrow with held back tears, I knew she was struggling just to share with me. I also knew that the answer was grace. She had to receive grace.
My friend was dealing with performance issues. The years had added on this idea that she need to perform to receive anything. She needed to be the best or it did not count. The problem that keeps creating a road block is that she is not perfect. She does not attain where she thinks she needs to be. What is on the other side of that road block is grace. She just needs to reach out and, believe that it is real.
One thing unfortunately that I see in Christians, is a lot of talk of grace but they do not believe it is real. Grace is every where in the christian culture. There will be writing, talking and memorizing scripture on grace in almost every church. Why is it not believed?
I think it is because we know of Christians we ourselves have approached. When we reached out with an expected heart, fretful spirit and pleading eyes, the results were a refusal to give us grace. Then we our spirits were crushed.
Confusion may set in because you hear so much talk about grace around you. To reconcile the tangling of emotion, you start to ponder, maybe you did something wrong and forgiveness is needed. That turns into a different story. Condemnation and shame will be thrown at you and you some how leave thinking that if only you performed well enough. Maybe then you could have earned grace.
The way to overcome the fluster of emotions is to turn to Jesus. The Jesus I see really did give grace. The Christians I had run into had their eyes and ears closed. They really did not understand it. So why would I expect them to believe that I would really give them grace. They had never see it among themselves.
So here I was with my friend, struggling with no peace in her heart. The overwhelming since of wrong of who she was, kept drowning out the joy. She had been caught in the same cycle of condemnation, shame and confusion.
She didn’t really believe grace was good enough for her. She really did not believe she could receive that much love, if she only reached out.
I couldn’t do it for her. I can’t make her believe grace is real. I keep praying for her. I noticed that some days are better than others. I noticed that sometimes she has peace. Other days performance is the focus and it tears her spirit in shreds because her performance cannot solve it.
She still has not reached out for grace yet. I am waiting for that day. I am waiting because I will rejoice with her. I will rejoice that finally she really does see what love is all about and she will see that her identity is in the grace and love of Christ.
I know she will get there. In till then, I will sorrow when she sorrows and weep when she weeps. I will also be the one rejoicing as she rejoices.
And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.
Jennifer Van Allen