The Lord God painted a picture on my heart today; I pray that I can do it justice, for no one can express the Love that our Father God has for us like Jesus Christ, through His Holy Spirit.
“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (for by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:4-7
He painted for me today, a picture of grace, and love, and mercy. It was a painting of me- my clothing but mere rags full of mud and dirt, every part of me was covered in mud and grime and sludge. I was stinky, and my hair was matted and sticking to my face. Around my ankles were chains which went deep into the ground beneath me. I was in a dark and hollow grave, above me was a tombstone. It read, “Here lies Stephane, who is dead in her trespasses and sins, for she sought to fulfill the desires of her flesh, and turned aside from the goodness of God.”
I was crying, sitting in my dark grave, hopeless and helpless, cold and dead. Then suddenly, I felt the warmth of the sun on my head, and light spread across the dirt walks which encircled me. I looked up with great anticipation, and there, kneeling beside my grave was my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He stretched forth His hand and said, “I have found you! Take my hand, I have been searching for you, and I have found you. Take my hand and I will help you out of this grave, oh, child, take my hand and let me love you.” Jesus Christ, my knight in glorious armor, His eyes full of delight. He had been searching for me like a lover who has been searching for His one true love and has finally found her. His eyes were full of joy and passion and mercy. His hands were strong and full of grace. His mercy and love for me wafted around me like the scent of fresh dew in the morning. I reached up and I took His hand. He pulled me up from the pit, but my chains dragged behind me, tightening around my ankles; the weight of them causing me to fall.
He fell down beside me and showed me His hands, His feet, the scars on His back, the scars on His head, and the scar on His side where He poured out His life for me. He gathered me into His arms, like a Father who has found His child that had been lost. His lips touched my head and He said, “I have searched for you, I have scanned the hills and the valleys and I have called out your name. I have left my kingdom in search for you, my child, and my love.” My heart is breaking for I know that I have caused Him great pain. I can see the depth of the scars on His body, and I know that I have put them there. Because of my sins, my desire to fulfill the lust of my flesh, and my rebellion to His calling, I have caused these scars. But He looks at me with great love, with a love that pierces through to my very core and smiles. He smiles at me. Tears begin to stream down my face, my sobs shaking my whole being.
“Oh, Lord Jesus, why have You come for me? Do you not know the things I have done, just look into my grave and see what sins I have committed against You. Read my tombstone, I am dead. I am nothing, I have nothing to give you but this beaten up, stinky, worthless rag of a body which lays here in the comfort of Your warm embrace.” He caresses my hair, and I begin to feel a change on the inside of me. He pulls me closer and tears fall from His eyes, not tears of sorrow, but tears of joy- filled with passionate love for me. I am beginning to feel again, I am beginning to feel love for the first time. “Child, my dear, dear child, I know the sins that you have committed, as I hung upon the cross, I saw you. I saw your face, and I knew I had to have you for my own. I have loved you so much that nothing was going to keep me from you. I have defeated death, I have conquered sin, and there is nothing and no one that can stop me from loving you. I have loved you with a great love. That has never changed, and it never will.”
“But I am dead, Lord. I cannot even stand for the chains of sin still have me bound. Death still has its grip on me.” I pull away from His warmth and pull on the chains that are getting tighter and tighter around my ankles. He stands before me in all His power and might and says, “Most assuredly, I say to you, if you hear my word and believe in Him who sent me, you shall have everlasting life, and you shall not come into judgment, but you will be passed from death to life.” (John 5:24) I feel the chains beginning to loosen, and I put my hands upon His feet. “I believe that You are the Son of God. I believe that you died for me. I believe that You have given me new life. I believe Lord Jesus, I believe.” As I speak the longing in my heart, my chains begin to break free, and I am able to stand. He embraces me and holds me close to His heart. As He pulls me close, I begin to change. The dirt and the grime of the grave is falling away, my rags are changing into robes as white as snow. His love, oh, how I can feel His love for me, it is coursing through my weary bones and I am beginning to breathe again. I can feel this new life bubbling up from the inside of me. The hopelessness I once felt is being changed into joy and anticipation; I can breathe again, I feel the life of His love in every fiber of my being. My tears are tears of joy, “I am free!” I proclaim to all that can hear me, “I am free!” I am being raised up, I am being changed, and I am beginning to experience life for the very first time. I finally know what Love is, what Love truly means and feels like.
He looks at me with tears of joy streaming down His face. He takes my face in His nail pierced hands and says, “Because of My great love for you, I give to you from the riches of my mercy, everlasting life. I have raised you up; I have cleansed you for My Name’s Sake. Forget this grave, this death that you were chained to, come, come and live with me forever.” He takes my hand and I take His. He and I begin a new journey together, one that leads us to His kingdom, where He has prepared a place for me, seated with Him in the heavenly places. A place where He and I will live together, we will love together; I will be His forever and ever.
There is no greater love that we will ever experience like the love of our Father in heaven, through His Son, Jesus Christ. If you are in a grave today, if you find yourself in a pit of despair and there seems to be no way out- look up. Look up at the glorious love of Jesus Christ, who stands above you and says, “Take my hand. I have been searching for you and I have found you.” I urge you, with every fiber of this new life I have been given and that I am experiencing, I urge you to take His hand and let Him give you life. A life that leads to everlasting peace, joy and love with the Father in Heaven. For there is no other way by which man can be saved- it is only through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, for it is by grace that we are saved through faith. There is only One Father, One Lord, One Way and that is by taking the hand of Jesus Christ, who loved us and gave Himself for us.
This song came to mind this morning as my Lord and I talked. Be blessed, and may the God of all peace raise you up out of the pit and into the marvelous light of His grace and mercy. The Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen and Amen.