It has been a difficult week. You know those people who cry at every movie climax? Or when they reach the sad part of a book? I am one of those. Every cheesy chick flick montage gets me, and I, a grown woman, bawled right there in the theater when Han Solo died in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I even lament when a good book series ends, and I can no longer share in the characters’ stories.
As silly as it seems, it also means I’m one of those sensitive souls who relates everything back to my own life and struggles not to take things personally. I feel things too deeply. I get too involved.
No Small Thing
Only, do you know the great thing about God? Our pain is never insignificant to Him. Maybe my difficult week was just a papercut in comparison to someone who just broke their arm, but, guess what?
Because He “hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows” (Isaiah 53: 4 KJV), Jesus weeps with us.
“When you saw only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.”
Enter 1 Corinthians 15: 10. As I struggled, I came across this scripture in my personal study, and, let me just say, I am really learning to love Paul! I love how he declares, “by the grace of God, I am what I am”. Look where He has brought me. Look how He has changed my heart. If He can do that, imagine what can he do for you. Because, if you remember, Paul (formerly Saul) went from vilely persecuting the church to testifying of a loving, redeeming Savior to everyone he encountered.
I noticed something new, as well. Paul mentions he labored abundantly, “yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me”. I think too often we assume that once we are perfect, once we’ve “done the work”, we reach a magical point along the journey where our effort is enough, and He welcomes us back into the fold. Yet Paul lays it out right here— God’s grace was with him while he labored, not after his labors were through.
Jesus carries us in our strivings and through our sorrows. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t labor “abundantly”, as Paul did, but rather, we need never labor alone. Our labor is not our saving grace, Jesus is. And just as our pain is never insignificant to God; neither is our place along the path back to Him.
One of my favorite quotes reads:
Isn’t that life-altering news? No wonder Isaiah exclaimed, “How blessed upon the mountains are the feet of Him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace” (Isaiah 52: 7 KJV). You are never unworthy of His comfort and His love. It is never too late. Jesus encourages, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16: 33 KJV).
So look up.
Whatever battle we face, we have the Greatest Champion on our side. He already overcame, and He came back for us. His grace truly is amazing. As Sierra Boggess puts it, “You are enough. You are so enough, it is unbelievable how enough you are.” Whatever anyone else may think, I testify that God loves you and knows you, exactly as you are. He sees your potential and the joy it will bring you, but He will never leave you to walk that journey on your own.
Here’s to Jesus’ redeeming grace and unconditional love, and to a loving Father in Heaven for the tender gift of His Only Begotten Son.