Sunday, March 23, 2014

Covered

I sat in silence. The sun hadn't quite yet made its appearance. It was a cool spring morning, early and peaceful. I'd been awake for awhile and not really sure why my head and my heart could not find rest. Thankful for the extra time, I was looking forward to concentrated, uninterrupted time alone with The Lord. I was not prepared for what was to come.

It started with overwhelming conviction. Layer upon layer peeled back as light revealed darkness. Unconfessed sin. Regret. Guilt. Past mistakes. Recent failures. Carnality that still exists. It came as a flood, overwhelming me and knocking me to my knees. There I was. Covered in nothing but disgrace. 

I wasn't prepared for the anguish my soul would feel, the tears that so easily flowed. I think one of the most gruesome things we face as believers is the moment we come face to face with the mirror God holds up before us and reveals to us how wrong we were about ourselves. It's that time when we had thought we were doing "okay" - when life seemed to be going smoothly, most things were uncomplicated. Living without any apparent need, no desperate situation that requires a lot of attention. Feeling as though most of your choices and recent decisions are following along God's plan. Time with Him becomes more of a routine or habit, not a time where we actually hear from Him. Not today. Not this time. I was covered in it. 

Then He reveals things as He sees them. Maybe something from the past. Maybe a situation you had never thought was wrong. Maybe an emotion, reaction, interaction, encounter. Something you missed, overlooked, didn't handle correctly, or flat-out disobeyed. Something you might not have been aware of but now staring right back at you is undeniably left undealt with. 

I was overcome with all of these. It wasn't just one thing - it was a host of them. I was overcome with emotion. Ashamed at myself. Asking God for forgiveness. Praying for Him to burn away the chaff, to remove all signs of carnal flesh and continue the sanctification process in my life. 

There's nothing sweeter than the grace that He brings after these moments of raw openness before Him. When you sit before The Lord and He brings to light everything that has fallen outside of His perfect will, it is the most humbling and catastrophic feeling. You are stripped of every accomplishment, every compliment, every high and lofty thought you once held of yourself. Broken down to nothing, wondering and questioning how He could even love a wretch such as me. At that very point of brokenness is where His lavish love extends arms of grace and mercy, stretching out as they once did when He paid for each and every sin, then wrapping around you with a covering of redemption and forgiveness. And there I was. Covered completely by His grace. 

Make no mistake, we do not sin just to receive forgiveness. Yet in the moment we realize how much He loves us, it helps bring an understanding of exactly why He paid the price with His own life. 

In the midst of these tender moments with my loving Savior, this song began to play on the radio. I had been unaware of the radio until the moment I heard,

He is jealous for me, loves like a hurricane, I am a tree
Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy
When all of a sudden I am unaware of these afflictions
Eclipsed by glory and I realize just how beautiful You are
And how great Your affections are for me

Oh, how He loves, yeah, He loves us
Oh, how He loves us, oh, how He loves us
Oh, how He loves

Yes, truly. There I sat with all my afflictions eclipsed by His magnificent glory. Bending like a tree beneath His mercy, realizing His beautiful love for me.

Jesus paid it all. All to Him I owe. Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed me white as snow. 

Here I am. Covered. 




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