I had a doctor’s appointment this week, to get some test results. I tried not to be nervous as I waited, but it was tough. He came in with a smile – which helped – and then told me he had “weird news” for me. “Good weird news,” he hastily elaborated. A condition for which he has been monitoring me for many years, one of the driving forces behind the latest round of tests, had disappeared. He explained this is a condition that does not reverse itself; we’ve been working over the years just to halt its progress. But now, it’s gone. He’s not sure how, he’s not sure why, but he’s sure it’s gone.
I thanked him and I thanked the Lord (embarrassingly enough, in that order), and I headed home, bewildered but delighted to be able to cross that item off my list of worrisome things.
But I couldn’t stop worrying. Because I don’t understand how this happened. I found myself thinking, “What if it comes back?”
Then I realized: This is just like the struggle so many of us have with grace. I didn’t earn it, so I don’t deserve it, so how can I accept it? Why did this happen and what do I do now?
But when God cleanses us – of illness, of trouble, and, most of all, of sin – doesn’t He also ask us to accept His gift with joy? Doesn’t He tell us to put aside worry and reservation? Doesn’t He offer, time and time again, the assurance of His infinite love? Yes, sin may come again, but He will not withhold His love then either. He encourages us to continue to strive to be more like Him, knowing full well that we will fail. But the fact that we will fail cannot stop us from striving. The Lord will pick us up, forgive us, and set us back on His path. He will take away those things we never dreamed could be forgiven. He will mend the hearts we thought would be forever broken.
Let us not waste time wondering how or why. Let us rejoice in the grace and goodness of the Lord. Let us proclaim our joy as witness, giving those around us the strength to believe in the almighty love and power of God.
“Let us have confidence, then, and approach God’s throne, where there is grace. There we will receive mercy and find grace to help us just when we need it.”