Remembering the Gospel

Picture this: You’re using a blanket that’s too small for you. Your shoulders aren’t covered, so you pull up a little, and then you feel the cold air hit your toes. You pull it back over your feet and you’re right back where you started, wondering how this stupid fabric scrap can call itself a blanket when it can’t even cover your less-than-average height, 5’3 frame… you get the picture.

Do you ever feel like a too-small blanket? (This is different from when Katy Perry asked if you ever feel like a plastic bag, I promise) Like regardless of how much you stretch, you can’t cover it all?

“No matter how hard I try, I am just not good enough”

This has been my heart’s sad cry for the last several months. Despite all my efforts and striving, I am dropping things all over the place, letting things slip through the cracks, and hurting people. And I am frustrated – frustrated with myself for not being better, frustrated with God for being “unkind” to me or not giving me “good things” when I am trying so hard. I don’t understand the disconnect between the input and output in my life, and honestly, it sucks. I’ve spent countless hours sobbing into my pillow and pleading with Jesus.

The reality, though, is that no matter how hard I try, I’m not good enough. My pitiful human efforts aren’t enough. I can’t make everything right, I can’t manage everything, and I can’t avoid hurting people.

And God is gracious enough to remind me of my humanness, to show me how weak I really am. He is not against me and He hasn’t stopped loving me. It is in His kindness that He blocks my path with thorn bushes and walls me in so I cannot find my way (Hosea 2:6). But it is all so he can allure me, lead me into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to me (v. 14). His heart isn’t to rejoice in my suffering, it is to draw me deeper into His love, His truth, Himself.

Praise be to Him that my efforts don’t have to be enough, that I don’t need to impress God with my works to earn love or goodness. Because while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). He didn’t wait for me to clean myself up; He saw my ugly and He said “I’ve gotta have her” and chased after me like the dreamy man in a RomCom we all want to marry. And He feels this way about you, too.

In all my failures, God is reminding me that righteousness, goodness, purity, and grace were all given to me the moment I accepted his sweet proposal. I don’t have to earn any of it, and I can’t anyway. God loves seeing me do the right thing and choose Him. He’s made me to be someone who obeys Him, even when it’s hard. He loves that about me, but it is not what makes me good – He is. Righteousness is a gift, not to be obtained or earned, but to be operated in.

The death of Jesus Christ was, is, and will always be enough.

This is the Good News of the Gospel and sometimes I just need a little reminding.