Say you do something really dumb, terrible and repugnant. Then you quickly retreat into your bedroom, fall on your knees and start imploring God’s mercy and forgiveness. But all this while you are actually begging Him not to release the thunder bolt and hailstones He’s preparing to rain down on you. You are trembling with fear, shame and guilt and you can’t look God in the face. You cry out in despair “Kill me Lord, I’m not worthy…I’m no good.”
While you are still kneeling there and waiting for the verdict you hear a sound somewhere deep within your spirit “…It is well, it is well with my soul…”
You quickly rebuke yourself for being so “stupid”. How can I be singing such a song when I’m supposed to hang myself for what I just did? You even apologize to God for such a bad conduct. Yet that song won’t go away. You feel like a miserable criminal awaiting a life sentence but your spirit is singing another song.
That is grace. Pure and unadulterated. Will you receive it?
I used to fight that gentle voice with every ounce of energy in me. Imagine I’m overtaken by fear and then I hear my spirit singing “fear not…” I’m feeling really guilty and then all I hear is “it is well with my soul…” I’m dead worried about paying the bills, then all I hear is “all things are possible to those who believe”.
Then one day I realized I have been fighting against God’s grace. That “contrary” song welling up from within me is God’s message of grace to me in that situation. I don’t need to feel like that song before I can accept, believe and sing it. I just ignore my emotions and start to sing it out loud.
Grace does not condemn. It encourages us to say “yes” to God’s love.