Every day. Needed grace...
My son has been reading a great book, Growing Up Christian by Mark Jacobsen. In this book the author challenges students to take their faith in God seriously... to make it "there own". He pokes a bit at the non-Christian student living in the home of Christian parents. He wants his readers to think, to analyze, and to test their faith. He writes in a winsome way, to be sure; but, my eleven year old son hears something different as he reads. He has taken it to heart so seriously that he has been in tears a few times.
Confused. Agitated. Upset. Am I even a real Christian, Mom?... he has wondered and questioned out-loud.
It is journey of grace, my son. A journey... one foot in front of the other.
My son deeply loves God. My son also struggles with the need to be perfect; or the desire to be "already done". He struggles with frustration and defensiveness with his own weakness and sin. He wants to be perfect today. Yesterday would have been nice.
Hmmm...just like his Mamma. Nature or nurture? I don't know. But, I heard his heart and knew his pain as he struggled through today's chapter on pride. He questioned and felt angst! I think he was even angry at the book. I get it.
In this chapter, Mark Jacobsen is inviting the reader to a sweet adventure in humility. He is pointing out the difficulty of pride in our lives. He is offering suggestions and pathways to walk to becoming more humble. Very helpful, for sure. But, to my son, he heard condemnation. He grieved the fact that he isn't there yet.
I am so prideful, Mom!
And, if I am honest (which Jacobsen encourages), I don't even really want to be humble at all! All this was said with exasperation and frustration--- not with the author, exactly, but with himself.
His father's words were priceless... "Oh, buddy, don't worry... you will be struggling with your pride for years to come!" We all laughed.
One foot in front of the other...
It is a journey of grace, my boy. Every day. All day. Needed grace.
I keep telling my son... and telling myself... that perfection is not for today and probably not tomorrow either. He chuckles when I say this. So, do I. Of course it isn't!? We can laugh together at our insecurities and our quirks.
Perfection isn't for today; but, instead we have just grace. Just simple, marvelous, unexplainable, incredible grace.
I remind him often that we have fresh mercy every day and we can fall into His unfailing love and faithfulness. Just as sure as the sun will rise tomorrow, he will indeed sin or at the least he will want to sin. And, just as sure as the sun will set tomorrow, God has grace for that too...
I need it today. You? I need that never-ending, abundant grace poured out from my loving Father.