It’s Monday and I’m tired and just look at the state of my nails…
Somehow, looking at my oh so peeling nail polish just now, I felt like it’s a metaphor for my life: I am so so so full of imperfections, the bits I manage to make pretty only stay that way for a short time, a quick retouching can help sometimes but then it inevitably gets to the stage when it’s beyond that…
And if I didn’t know Jesus, it might get to me. But in him I have the total assurance that it doesn’t ultimately matter, God loves me anyway, unconditionally, forever!
God sent his Son to die for me, to take the punishment I deserve for all my sins, and he not only takes the punishment for me but he also cleans me up, again and again, whenever I come to him and say: I’m sorry, I’ve messed up again.
I let him down – past tense and present too – and he loves me! Constantly! And there’s nothing I can do that would make him turn away and give up on me – just as there’s nothing I could have done to make him turn me away on that day in 2002 when I put my faith in Jesus. He knew all my sins – and not only did he not turn me away, but he was the one who’d done all the chasing! I never was what you’d call a seeker, not by any stretch of the imagination… But God sought after me, and slowly reeled me in, changing me from the inside so that I’d want him!
And now I live knowing his love, basking in it, holding onto this awesome assurance when everything is hard, when life is full of lemons, or just when I once again make a mess of things and recognise my weakness, my fallibility, my sinful and selfish attitudes and behaviours, my inability to fix it in my own strength…
I grew up as a secular agnostic, and the only religion I knew was one that said: do this, don’t do that – it was all about trying really hard to follow a set of rules.
But Jesus… He invites us into a very different kind of deal – the Bible calls it a new covenant – where we don’t have to strive to somehow be good enough, we are invited to accept that we can’t! and that Jesus has done it all for us!
My nail polish is peeling. My kindness towards people only lasts for a while before tiredness or stress make it fray. My good intentions only go so far. If being ok with God depended on me, I’d be in deep trouble.
But thank God it doesn’t.