I’ve heard the expression “I gotta get myself right with God” quite a few times in my life. Maybe that’s what tripped me up for a long time… the idea that I needed to get myself right.
My friend is very sick. He is also pretty old. Let’s call him Roy. Roy’s lived a long life mostly all the same half block in DC. He’s been around the block, so to speak, and he always had a smile and some ridiculous joke that he thought was hilarious. He was recently given only a few weeks to live and he was told to get himself straight with the Lord. That seems counterintuitive to the Gospel message. If you don’t know it, the gospel message, in a nutshell, is simple. We were created in relationship with God. Sin separated us from that. We tried to “get ourselves” right with God and couldn’t. Queue Jesus (son of God) -> Sinless life, died for us, buried then resurrected. Believing in this is salvation.
Me “getting my life right with God” was saying yes to relationship with Jesus.
I can’t even imagine how hard this must be for Roy. Choosing joy and allowing The Lord to fill me with peace is hard enough when the circumstance isn’t terminal. It’s terminal for him… he was told he needs to do the work of eternally saving himself. That doesn’t settle well in my spirit.
I prayed for my friend today. We talked about grace. He’s known me for a long time. My life looks very different now from what it was when I met him in DC 12 years ago. He’s in ICU and not talking easily these days. By the end of our prayer time, a few tears had rolled down his cheeks. My heart is hurting. I am sad he is dying. I am also sad that he was burdened with the idea of working off his salvation. He was and is saved by grace, through faith in Jesus. Same as me.
I didn’t get my life right. I said “yes” to a life with Jesus. He is the one who transformed my life to what it is now. The only difference between me then and me now is Jesus.
coming this week… where am I and what am I doing.