Life is good. And not just because my 8:00 got canceled this morning so I get an extra hour and a half of reading, coffee, writing time. (Although that definitely helps).
Life is just good. I am busy and have a lot on my plate. Classes are hard, work is sometimes overwhelming, and my commitments seem to constantly fight for my attention. But I am learning and growing and being refined through all of it. And it is good.
Most notably, the Lord has revealed to me how much of an idol productivity is in my life. I consistently have to combat the mindset that my rest will come from crossing things off my to-do list. But I am reminded of what is said in Psalm 62 that “My soul finds rest in God alone.”
Still though, I confess that I get stressed out rather easily. (Anyone who knows me well will probably find humor in how vastly understated that comment is.)
And I very much dislike not having a plan, a timeline, a structure, or a feeling of control. (Anyone who knows the Lord well will probably find humor in how ridiculously prideful that comment is.)
But I am so struck by the blessing and beauty in constantly being shaken of that.
Sometimes I feel like I give the Lord a lot to laugh at. Especially on the days (which, let’s be real, is everyday) that I cling to my perfectly organized, color-coded planner as if it were my salvation. Honestly, I catch myself living by that thing. Which, as ridiculous as it sounds, means that I end up living my days by the structure and guidance of my planner, and for the satisfaction of meeting all its expectations.
And, okay, I know this is sounding extreme, but it really is evidence in my life of the much deeper struggle with a bent towards legalism, formulaic religion, and grace by works.
I like to cross things off lists. On the practical level, with my black, fine point Sharpie pen, and on the spiritual level, with my tiny, misguided offerings of what I can “do” for the Lord. And that is simply not a reflection of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
In church this past Sunday my pastor focused his sermon on Romans 9:1-13, a passage about God’s election. And as I was reminded of the gift of grace, I was reminded of how little my life reflects its nature and its power. Grace is free. If I can offer any explanation whatsoever as to why God chose to extend it to me, then I am discounting the wickedness of my natural state of being, and essentially countering the work of Jesus Christ altogether. My subconscious attempts to win the approval of the Lord by what and how much I can do for Him, reflect that in some way I deem myself worthy of his love, or “choosable” in His sight.
Which forfeits the gospel, makes grace no longer free, and denies that Jesus is the Messiah.
But, when I recognize that there is nothing that has ever, could ever, or will ever make me worthy of this immeasurable grace, only then do I see the true heart of our Lord and the real freedom that comes from resting in this truth.
So, will I stop crossing things off my perfectly organized planner/to-do list?
Not a chance.
But, I will commit to continuously/daily/hourly remembering and reflecting on the truth of the gospel of free grace, and choose to live in it and by it for the glory of God.
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!” Galatians 2:20-21
Thank you, Lord for your grace, and for sweet reminders when we forget it.