Monday, February 20, 2012

A Safe Place to Land

"I wish I could have the love for God that you do," someone said to me once.  I shook my head.  There was only one response I could give.  "He rescued me.  He took me as I was and brought me up out of a really scary place, saved me from myself.  He literally saved my life."  

The last couple of days I've been thinking a lot about the grace of God.  Totally unmerited, freely lavished, crazy-love Grace.  

When a building is burning, and the fire-ladders can't reach to the floor where the fire is, the fire-fighters will set up a safety net and tell people to jump.  If people are too scared to jump, they succumb to the smoke and they die.  Taking that jump, that leap of desperation, is the choice they make to trust that the net will keep them from perishing when they land.  

Source (via Google Images):
It's a safe place.  Scary to take the jump, to trust yourself to a thin layer of nylon, yes.  But it's the only way. All other exits are fiery passages of certain death.  There's only one way out alive: jumping for the net.

And - that's what faith is.  It isn't just believing that the net of God's grace will hold - it's actually jumping, even if we're scared. And that kind of faith is repeated over and over again in our relationship with God.  Free-falling onto His power, His love, His forgiveness, over and over and over.  

Not that we try to fail. (Although the more we try by ourselves, the more sure we are to fail... but I've already talked about that.) But the more we are in Him ... the more we realize that every step, every decision is a free-fall into His safety net of tenderness, of compassion, of mercy.  And when we mess up ... and we WILL mess up ... the greatest safety net of all is there: His love.  Mike Warnke used to say it something like this way: I could explain it theologically, exigetically, philosophically, using all kinds of big words like that.  But it still all boils down to one thing, the most profound message the world has ever known:
     Jesus loves me, this I know
     For the Bible tells me so.
     Little ones to Him belong;
     They are weak but He is strong.
     Yes, Jesus loves me, yes, Jesus loves me,
     Yes, Jesus loves me, the Bible tells me so.  

Healing, restoration, acceptance, forgiveness - it's all there.  

Just jump.

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