“I once was lost but now I’m found, was blind but now I see.”
These lyrics describe my life perfectly. Without God’s amazing grace, I would be completely lost in myself and of this world. There was a time that I felt the emptiness when I chose to exclude Christ from my daily life. I experienced the darkness when I enjoyed living in sin more than showing obedience. I felt the presence of the enemy when I no longer responded to my convictions. And then I was shown God’s mercy when I decided I couldn’t bear to live like that any longer.
For quite some time, I believed my faith was genuine and strong. Peer pressure was never an issue because I knew right from wrong. Being raised in a Christian household will do that to you. You learn what to say ‘yes’ to and when ‘no’ should be applied. However, in hindsight, all I had were the right answers and other people’s faith to live vicariously through. I thought that as long as I did the right things and had other Christians surrounding me, I was fine. Basically, I was a Pharisee – walking through the motions but completely missing Jesus Himself.
Once I got to college and was living on my own, I abandoned all aspects of Christian living because I was no longer surrounded by the right answers. The only answers I was getting were earthly and selfish; they came from frat houses and magazines and pop music and bars at 2 am. I can recall starting to doubt whether God was real or not. I couldn’t feel His presence anymore and was blaming everything and everyone but myself for that. Blindness took over me because I failed to keep Him close, and for the first time in my life, I was truly scared.
Haven’t we all been there? Hasn’t there been a time in everyone’s walk with Christ that we look back and can’t see the cross in the distance? With faith comes an element of responsibility. Too often, we fall victim to our lack of desire for God because we don’t make sure we’ve done our part. “In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success.” (Proverbs 3:6). True, our thirst for the Lord can be quenched simply by asking, but most times we fail to do just that. Ask. It wasn’t until I stripped myself of my pride and asked God to give me the desire for Him and His Word that I received it. I was ashamed that I didn’t care about reading my Bible or going to church, and I was embarrassed to admit it in prayer. But in reality, He knows our sins before we even commit them. “You, God, know my folly; my guilt is not hidden from You.” (Psalm 69:5). God already knew my shame, but He loved me and guided me anyway.
We spend so much time thinking we’ve boxed out God from our lives that we convince ourselves He’s given up on us. We tell ourselves that we missed our chance at a full life, a life with Him at the center. But God loves us more than we could possibly comprehend. We may think we’ve hit the point of no return, but truthfully, there is no measure of sin that can remove us from the region of His grace if we belong to Him.
“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient… But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ, even when we were dead in transgressions… For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:1-2, 4-5, 8-9).
Grace is a gift, a gift God is ready and willing to give. All that’s required of us is recognition that we need Him, and He’ll be there waiting.
Originally posted by The Well Studio >> check out their site!
photos by Anna Grace Photography