Speaking of reading... I started my weekend a little early last night and took the night off from homework. I only had one chapter in a book to read, so why not, right?! I charged my Nook, sat in my favorite chair in Starbucks and got into the thick of Insurgent, the 2nd book in the Divergent series by Veronica Roth... all I can say is WHOA. It is so intense! There were moments I was near tears, and moments where my heart starting beating out of my chest! It's such a thrill of a book. I'm about 100 pages away from finishing it (I decided to go to bed before midnight instead of staying up and reading-10 hours of blissful sleep later, I made the right choice!), so I plan to finish it tonight! Veronica, at 24 years old, has written 2 (soon to be 3!) number 1 best sellers. Man, can I be like her when I grow up!?!?
There was one line in Insurgent last night that hit me like a ton of bricks. Now I know from what I've read Veronica is a believer, so I don't know if what I read was deliberately supposed to have some sort of religious tie or if I've just been geared towards picking up those subtle nuances, but here goes.
(I'm not going to give exact details because that will spoil both Divergent and Insurgent ;) )
"It's already done," she says. "That's what I meant to say. That the forgiving was already done."Whoa. Such a powerful image, beautiful words. I love it when I see God in the margins of the books I come across. :-)
It's already done.
It is finished.
When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.”With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. ~John 19:30It's already done. We've already been given the forgiveness we broken people so desperately need; we've been given enough grace to fill every drop of the ocean, enough love to fill the depths of our weary souls. We don't have to earn it. We don't have to go day by day and ask ourselves if we're good with God, if our daily mistakes or major sins have been forgiven. It's just there.
Because it's already done.
And he also said, "It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega--the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life. ~Revelation 21:6
That doesn't say, "all who are perfect." He gives Himself freely to those that are thirsty... those that are seeking something more.
Yet why do we... why do I still think I have to earn it? Why are there days I still think I have to earn His love and affection, His grace and peace? I've spent my whole life striving for perfection, for love from one person or another, for attention; since my walk with God started I guess I've thought I had to earn things for His attention too.
Oh, how wrong I was. How wrong I still am sometimes.
Why do I live like I still have to fight for the things when it's already finished? It's already been decided that I'm free from trying so hard... that I am saved because He died for me. For my screw ups. Every one of my sins is nailed to that cross... It's already done. I've already been forgiven for all that I've done.
Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea. ~Micah 7:18-19Who is this God? He is a redeemer that saves me from myself. He is a God that vehemently loves me, even when I don't love Him back. I don't deserve this beautiful kind of grace, this amazing life-changing forgiveness... not in the slightest. Scripture says my sins are as far the east is from the west... yet somedays I live with the weight of my past, my struggles, my sins as if they're right in front of me. Because He is a God who saves, a God who gives me hope and a future, and I would never, ever be able to fully repay the sacrifice He gave for me. And He keeps on doing it. It's not a one time deal, either.
He loves us so much that when we fail... when we mess up... when we don't think He'll accept us back again...
He's standing there, with arms wide open, whispering to our hearts, "It's already done. Come home."
"Bearing all my sin and shame
In love You came
And gave amazing grace"
Indeed, indeed. In Love He comes and gives us that grace when we least deserve it. Thank you, Lord.
May we all live in that hope- that it is already done, and we don't ever have to strive for something we can't reach without Him. May we continually seek His face in the margins of our lives for those little reminders that inspire us to live more like Him. Happy weekend to you all :-)