My church got a new pastor 3 or 4 years ago, and, along with an updated wardrobe, Pastor Ernie Frey brought with him a desire to help people truly understand what Christ has to do with them. I have to say Ernie does this exceptionally well during our Communion services (which we have quarterly). Every time we have Communion, Ernie, via the Spirit, is able to bring us back to why we engage in this ritual. We aren’t doing it for ritual’s sake. We aren’t doing it to earn points with God. We do it to remember how desperately we need Christ to be our Savior every single day, and to reflect on how He comes through for us like a knight in shining armor.
We took Communion yesterday. I’d been struggling all week with negative thinking about myself, about life in general, and about God. Upset with life circumstances, I’ve been basically telling God to take a hike for awhile so I can do what I want to do. And while I was pushing God away last week, blaming Him for my hurting heart, I knew what I was doing was wrong. It was wrong on a this-is-a-sin level, but it was wrong beyond that. When I am hurting, the only way to stop hurting is to go sit in the Father’s lap and cry, letting him be the Comforter, and listening to the truth He wants to speak against the lies I’ve believed. But oftentimes when my heart hurts, I want to walk away from God because He caused/allowed the circumstances that are causing me pain. But walking away from God is walking away from relief. It is a logical inconsistency to turn away from the only One who can heal a broken heart when all you want is the pain to stop.
So, while I was pushing away God last week, knowing I was walking in the wrong direction, I became mad at myself for being such an idiot. My list of things I was mad at grew to include God, me, and the fact that life is just too hard most of the time. I was completely frustrated that despite being a Christ follower for almost 10 years, I am still as broken as I was in high school. I felt like I would never outgrow my self-destructive tendencies. Why would God even want to hang around a girl like that? I didn’t even want to be with me last week – why would God, who deserves so much more praise, obedience, and love than I will ever be capable of giving him?
I carried all of this to church Sunday. And God met me there.
Via the Communion service, God said, “Yes, Kelly, you are that broken. You are bent toward hurting yourself and hurting others. And, although it grieves Me to watch you self-destruct, I love you. No matter how broken you are, I have more than enough grace to give you. Don’t you get it? I will never run out of grace for you. You can’t out do me; I will always have more grace than you have sin.”
Romans 5:20-21 “Where sin increased, grace increased all the more…to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”