Saturday, October 6, 2007

The Superlative Grace of God

It's been about a year...

Today was OU-Texas. (Not, as a friend of mine was surprised to hear, Texas-OU. It made me chuckle: who would ever put it backwards like that?) A year ago, friends and I were in northwest Arkansas, covering the beautiful expanses of the Ozarks. It was glorious.

It was also the beginning of a painful but exhilarating and life-changing period of time. I'm in awe, looking back, how much God has done in my heart, in my mind, in my life in the last year.

I was a jerk on that trip, to be blunt. It was a fun trip, nevertheless, but I was not in a good place. More and more certain habitual sins of mine (especially pride) were coming to the forefront. Arrogance. Argumentativeness. Anger. Irritability. That's a picture of a vile and depraved heart, one reveling in its own self-sufficiency and glorying in self-idolatry. It's me without Him. Me trying to do things in my own strength.

Praise be to God: that He has given me , loyal friends, faithful friends who never stopped seeking my good, even when I had hurt them grievously; that He has given me faithful parents who prayed for me and continued to speak truth in my life; that He has the heart of a perfect Father, ever calling us to Him despite our constant rejection. I am in awe of the fact that He is so good. And His goodness is made infinitely more apparent by comparison to my own utter lack of holiness.

It's funny... I wasn't expecting that set of conviction. But I'd been praying for weeks for God to start a move in my campus ministry, breaking our hearts and convicting us of sin. I explicitly asked Him to start with me. Amusingly, I don't think I actually expected Him to do so. The irony of self-righteousness and arrogance.

It's funny, because looking back I'm disgusted by the darkness in my heart a year ago. But it's also worth paying attention to, because it throws into sharp relief how much depravity remains in my own heart: there is much that God continues to expose on a daily basis. The way I speak. How ungentle I am at times. The still-present (though thankfully diminishing) tendency to win and crush others along the way.

God is faithful, even when we are not, and I am so grateful for His favor in my life, for His continued work, for His love demonstrated through continued conviction. If He has done this much in the year past, how much more will He do in the year ahead?

Again I return to the overwhelming sufficiency and adequacy and abounding nature of His grace. It amazes me, humbles me, shakes me to my core. His glory so perfectly displayed in a way that we in our finite minds would never imagine: by mercy and grace, by making us like Him rather than simply wiping the slate clean and eliminating us once and for all.

His grace.

- Chris


  1. "Backwards" . . . apparently, is relative!!!!!!!

    It just never crossed my mind that people in OK wouldn't know it's Texas/OU!!!!!!!

    What a great day ... Marcia and I had a wonderful time meeting you!!! Hope you got all your homework done ;)

  2. Life in Christ is about letting ourselves be changed by Him, for Him.
    His mercy and grace truly are amazing and way beyond our limited ability to understand.

    That He doesn't "simply wipe the slate clean and eliminate us once and for all." is why He is God, and we are not.

    I'm grateful that you are seeing these things.


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