In this busy season of life, there’s one thing I have too much time for. Reflection. Each and everyday, I drive 30 minutes to where I student teach. This is ample time to reflect on life, feel overwhelmed about school, and focus too much on the fact that I’ll never measure up to the standards of the world. As a result, most mornings, I hate the drive. Not only does it cause anxiety, but 6 am wake-ups, spending way too much on gas, and overall weariness are a part of my regular routine. I grumble and complain way too much about this situation. One day, though, as I was working my way down this one particular stretch of road I’d seen a million times, my tune began to change.
My eyes began to see the glory in creation and I sat in awe thinking about God’s power. He created everything around me. He created the Earth and made it so that the seasons change. He created powerful oceans and majestic mountains. And then, He decided to create me.
He didn’t need me.
He didn’t have to make me.
He wanted to create me.
When He created me, He allowed me the opportunity to step into His plan and into His mission. He wanted me to love Him and seek Him first in everything. And He wanted me to know the depth of His love for me.
This reminds me of the song,”How Deep the Father’s Love,” and I think about how often I do not understand how deep His love really is for me. I sing the words at church, but pass over the significance of the cross, when Christ showed exactly how deep His love for me is. It’s endless. How can I expect to show Christ’s love to others when I don’t fully understand and step into that love myself? I think a lot of this stems from not understanding the significance of the cross and forgiveness.
Growing up in the Church, I was taught from a young age that Jesus died on a cross for me but I don’t think I’ve ever really understood the significance. In fact, up until a year ago, I had no idea what walking in the reality of the cross and forgiveness meant. I wasn’t aware of how much sin I actually had in my life because of this perspective. I was blind to my sin because I thought of myself as a good person. However, I also felt distant from God. If I thought my sin wasn’t too bad, then why did I feel like something was separating me from God?
I’ve had forgiveness explained to me many different ways over the years. The one that stuck out to me was an illustration of a bicycle. As we sin, we need to acknowledge, repent, and walk in the forgiveness of the cross, just like peddling on a bicycle. It’s a constant, repetitive motion that gets easier the more you do it. I was not walking in repentance and forgiveness. My heart was hardened towards my sin and it was building up a wall in my heart. When I finally understood the power of repentance, I started asking God to make me aware of my sin. My seemingly “sinless” life was so broken. I felt the crushing weight of my sin but then something amazing happened: I felt the overwhelming freedom of forgiveness. I finally knew what it meant to walk in forgiveness and experience the depths of God’s love for me.
Fast-forward to my long drive that one wintry morning. I felt awakened again by the sight of creation to the fact that Jesus loved me enough to create to me, knowing full well that His son would have to die to save me. What an awesome God we get to serve! He chooses us to step into His plan. He doesn’t need us but He will use us if we just say yes.
How are you using your time for the Lord? I realized that the time I spent driving each morning could be a time to reflect on what the Lord is doing in my life, a time to worship my Creator, and to pray. Now, when my alarm goes off in the morning, I am no longer filled with dread (okay a little, no one likes getting up a six!) but with excitement for what the Lord is going to do that day. I get to spend that time worshiping Him and reflecting on what He has done and is doing.
Today Jesus, I thank you for loving me so that I may walk in forgiveness and truth!