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As I look at the current events in our world, my innards ache. This hurts.The moment the created rebelled against the Creator by making mankind himself his own god, the earth began to feel the pain, today, thousands of years after its creation, the world’s contractions bring pains harder and closer together as it waits for renewal.I would like to say earth is in a worse state than it has ever been in history, but I must remind myself that when the earth was only a thousand years old, the entire animal and human populations, except for one family of each, was completely wiped out by a flood because humanity had become so vile.Not even a hundred years ago, our world experienced one of the most horrific events of racism ever known. Over six million Jewish people…men, women, and children were slaughtered. Like many others today, we still shudder with horror at the thought of what occurred. Could that many people have really been killed? Could humanity be that terrible? Horrible wars, plagues, slavery, and violence have been the course of earth since that day humanity brought the curse of sin upon all creation. If we know anything, history has yet to be a teacher to the human race, but history is most certainly the revealer of our true human nature. It is not good. In fact it is desperately wicked.Yes, we are that terrible. And so blind to ourselves that we did not learn from that point in history. This year, there is more unveiling of the injustice and cruelty of which humankind is capable. We are also getting to experience anger and expressions of long harbored bitterness as it pours out of broken people. People’s hearts are hurting them. The souls of the human race are damaged, wounded, and trapped in despair.And then, through these dark thoughts, something is there, waiting, giving time for healing, it is gentle, patient, and sustains the soul. It’s rays burst through the window of any heart’s dungeon. GRACE–it pours into the darkest corner and illuminates the darkened soul. However deep a person can go, grace is already there. No matter how damaged a heart is, grace can heal. However long it takes for repair, grace is waiting. The world can change. People can be whole. Souls can be healed. There can be peace on earth..true peace that comes from a heart drenched in grace. Racism, murder, injustice, slavery, imprisonment, and all the pains of will end.Grace is so beautiful. We as a human race have done nothing to earn grace. We are a mess. This world doesn’t deserve one ounce of grace. We deserve to be left to our own demise, which if allowed would have led to the extinction of humanity thousands of years ago.Instead of getting what we deserve,GRACE reaches down,waits, and ever so gently,ever so kindly; So full of a deep compassion,GRACE pleads with us to repent.“He does not deal with us according to our sins,
nor repay us according to our iniquities” Psalm 103:10.Grace brings us God entering into a body like ours made of perishable dust. Grace brings us God, setting aside the dwelling of which He is worthy, and being wrapped in swaddling clothes and sleeping in a barn. Grace is God, walking among men, homeless, sleepless, hungry, and physically spent as brought understanding of a kingdom far greater than the broken one on earth that humanity keeps trying to mend in all the wrong ways. Grace is God, perfect, holy, and unapproachable by man, being torn apart and killed by the very people He created. Grace is God, using his own blood to make a way for us to repent and find forgiveness with Himself. Grace is God giving us Himself the only perfect, whole, and unimaginable being to bring wholeness and healing to our souls. Grace brings us the gospel. Healing, restoration, peace…All the pains we endure in this cursed earth have been carried, born. It is all ON HIM. And the tears flow from my eyes freely as I realize my own brokenness and the grace poured out on my soul.
“Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.” Isaiah 53: 4-6.
Sin abounds. Indeed we are a shameful mess. We see the mess in the news. We see the mess in our governments. We see the mess on the streets. We see the mess in our homes. We see the mess in our churches. We see the mess in our very own souls. Sin abounds…yes…But grace abounds more.“For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 5:18-21And I realize it is I who have been in error. All this time, I have been hopeful that things would get better, that healing would come to our people. I find myself frustrated and continually surprised when things seem to get only worse and worse. But I must ask myself, why does any sin surprise me? Why do I feel taken aback? Speechless…? Did I really expect better from people so damaged by sin? Why does it startle me when the hatred the human race has for each other continues from generation to generation? Why am stunned by what people say about each other? Why does it astonish me to see the throbbing pain we humans inflict on other humans? This is human nature is it not? Are not the souls of all humanity broken? Why does sin and the pain it brings continue to shock me?What should stagger me is that the Creator, who made this world beautiful and perfect, allows it to continue in its unraveled state. What should amaze me is that despite our abounding sins, God withholds judgment. Despite our inclination to be our own god, the God who made us, lets us exist. Despite our ignorance and misunderstanding of who God is, we breath in and out. Despite all we are, God waits…giving us time to change, to repent, to come to Him for complete restoration and healing. This is grace. Grace is God’s gift to us. We are unworthy of all grace brings, but it brings it anyway. Sin should never shock us. We should expect sin. We are, after all, sinners. It is God’s grace that should shock us. His grace should so utterly amaze us that our hearts live in the glow of our complete awe of Him.