“As the Father has loved
me, so have I loved you.
Abide in my love.”
You don’t realize how much you need grace until you really screw up. I was taking chemistry in High School, and the instructor was like a father figure to me. I wanted to impress him, and he wanted me to be his prodigy. The lab was sixty-percent of our grade. The whole bit: test tubes, chemicals, lab-coats, and safety glasses.
With that teacher’s expression where he recoils his body like a violent spring and drops into a crystalized gaping mouth of horror that says, “Have you not been paying attention for the last year?!” Most teens would’ve shrugged, but I was crushed for the rest of my high school experience. He hurt me, and I hurt him. I failed chemistry, and we never broached the topic of compounds or periodic tables again.
My failure and his response and reaction to that failure fulfilled the worst-case-scenario. It killed the connection of the relationship.
Our saving grace is that we have grace in failing. Wisdom is using that grace to get up, dust off, persevere, and find life in our connection with God moving forward. That’s the heart of repentance. The Cross of Christ makes it clear that no earthly failure is bigger than God’s grace. You can’t out-sin it, and no power on earth or in hell can diminish or extinguish it. Do you know why? Because the Cross was God’s response and reaction to our sin. He desired connection and relationship over our best, yet feeble and futile attempts at perfection and performance. If there was an exam to test our righteousness, we’d all fail God’s basic standard entrance requirements. He completed the one scenario that would make the connection from God’s heart to ours, breaching the gap of our failure. He sent his son to take the test for us.
By Aaron F. Jeffers