When we’ve lost a loved one, watched our marriage disintegrate before our eyes, looked at the brokenness in the world, or feel depleted by life, we need rescue, renewal, and restoration. In addition, there are times when we cause our own discomfort, mental anguish, and trouble through the decisions we make.
So, where do we turn and what can we do? For many, retreating into their faith offers solace, healing, understanding, and love.
For example, when Jesus Christ, the most dominant, powerful, and influential entity in the universe started his ministry here on earth, he became one of us. He lived with human limitations, felt our emotions and the perils of our existence, and then on the cross he died for our sin and suffered the agonizing pain of crucifixion. So as we marvel at Jesus the God-man and his life as one of us, let’s remind ourselves of why he came.
Love, mercy, grace, and patience are the foundation of God’s benevolence toward us—even when we find ourselves misguided, muddled, and marred.
The prophet, Isaiah explains:
All of us have become like one who is unclean,
and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags;
we all shrivel up like a leaf,
and like the wind our sins sweep us away.
No one calls on your name
or strives to lay hold of you;
for you have hidden your face from us
and have given us over to our sins (Isaiah 64:6-7).
We can’t take Isaiah’s words lightly, nor think they apply to others. Like the fellow Jews of his day, Isaiah is describing you, me, and every other human being. Furthermore, the word choices Isaiah used grab our attention, for when translated from the Hebrew their meanings show us who we are through the eyes of God. For example, the unclean refers to lepers, and the filthy rags refer to menstrual rags. Bluntly put—but straightforward and true.
Regardless, we are encouraged when we realize that as God’s image bearers, his image is associated with who we are—not what we do—and God’s image never leaves us. I explore this concept more in Raising Doubt
Billy Graham points out, “When we come to the end of ourselves, we come to the beginning of God.”
Have you released yourself into the loving arms of God?