I have never had an easy relationship with grace. I have been told that I extend it well at times, but recieving it has always been a great battle for me. I put pressure on myself for every little thing--down to the silliest and most insignificant decisions and actions--constantly living as if under the threat of judgment, disapproval, and failure. It's ridiculous, really. But we all know that we fail to see how ridiculous our own delusions are most of the time.
This aspect of struggle can be crippling at times for me. It's the voice inside my head telling me that everything I do is wrong, that I am not enough--not beautiful enough, not selfless enough, not disciplined enough. It is not the voice of truth, but it shouts loudly all the same. As a woman who wants desperately to live a life that in every way proclaims the truth of a gospel of freedom, it is an often uphill battle.
Recently, I read through the Psalms of Asaph, one of the more prominent names attached to these wonderful poems. As I read Psalm 79, a Psalm that mourns sin and destruction and loss, I was struck by the ninth verse: Help us, O God of our salvation! Help us for the glory of your name. Save us and forgive our sins for the honor of your name.
As I read this, I found myself reminded--and newly astounded--by a deep truth: it is to God's glory for him to show me grace. I often feel that it is my behavior and perfection that will bring him glory, and I chastise myself severly when I think I have failed. How can it be to his glory to recieve grace for such failure? Yet there it is in writing. There it is in the middle of the Word of God; he gets glory when he forgives us and helps us as our Great God of Salvation.
I pray more and more that I will learn to recieve that with humility, and even more, with JOY! Yes, I want to live a holy life, and I will seek it with all my heart. But I also want to live a life that expresses this great truth: his grace when I fail can still be used to bring my Father glory.