I went to my high school reunion this weekend. As radical as it sounds, I’m going to tell you that is was encouraging to my soul. 15 years ago we were mostly a bunch of awkward Christian kids just budding from a small town in the middle of Michigan. Now we are mostly a bunch of Christian adults spreading branches through the world. Praise God.
And more personally, I was encouraged in my own sanctification. One of the first people I got to hug was a girl I lived with in college. Still her joyful, overflowing self, she bubbled, “I’m just so happy to see that you love Jesus.” It caught me up short. Of course that is my identity now, but I quickly remembered, it hasn’t always been. She knew the sin of my youth and she rejoiced with me to see it dead.
Then yesterday morning at church, we sang “How Sweet and Awesome is This Place” by Isaac Watts. Verse 3 reminded me why I shouldn’t bother with mascara on Sunday mornings.
Why was I made to hear thy voice
and enter while there’s room,
When thousands make a wretched choice
And rather starve than come?
I am living a life I don’t deserve and didn’t want, but for his grace. By grace, my husband and I have grown up together in the same direction. By grace, I’m not defined as the “career woman” people thought I’d be. By grace, he gave us 7 kids (instead of the 0 we said we wanted) to raise to know the Lord. By grace, I hate my pride. By grace, I love authority. By grace, I love the saints. By grace, my tongue will not cease to give testimony to all his wondrous works. I am filled and satisfied with eternal Good. And all this, I would have missed had he not by the same grace plucked me out of my dead-end desires and claimed me for his own.
Amen and amen!
I have such similar thoughts about my past and the joy and wonder of being “a new creature!” Grace, marvelous grace!