Thursday, May 28, 2015

Relentless

Last week I went to my favorite place on earth- the sea. My family from Iowa came down and we took a few days to go and relax at the beach. The first morning out there I woke up early and decided to take a run along the beach. There is something about the sun coming up over the Atlantic Ocean, and the sounds of God’s creation waking up that just make me want to be out in it. It was beautiful. I came up over the dunes and took off running. However, as I ran I didn’t even realize that the waves had been chasing me up the shore and into the soft sand. If you have ever ran on the beach you will know that trying to run in dry soft sand is near to impossible, you want the wet packed sand that the waves leave for you. As the waves pushed me up the shore line I found myself unable to run and had to readjust myself a few times. Eventually, because the tide was coming in, to make my run easier, I had to make the decision to run in the waves instead of trying to avoid them.
             As my feet submerged into the cold salty sea water, I was reminded of the relentless love of my God. Wave after wave came upon the shore, and over and over again I was reminded of how great His love for me is. How relentlessly He pursued me all those years ago. No matter where I ran or how fast I went the waves found me. Every wave like an event of my life that pushed me closer and closer into the arms of His relentless love for me. Do we grasp this truth in our lives? Do we understand how this relentless love of God has made us who we are today? Do we understand that every mistake was just one more wave driving us up the shore into His mercy?
                “O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, You know it altogether. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me.” Psalm 139:1-5 ESV
                When I look back on my life I cannot help but see the hand of God pushing me to go here and guiding me to go there. Over and over again, wave after wave, pushing me closer and closer to His love and mercy. I can’t even count the times I should have died from a drug overdose, or the times I drove home drunk and woke up not knowing how I got there, but He protected me, took care of me. Over and over again His love pursued me, chased me, and protected me, pushing me into the dry safe sands of His love for me. His hand hemmed me in, before and behind, and He never let me go. Even when I was running from Him, He never gave up on me. His love was and is relentless.
                Because His love is relentless, every mistake we make, every regret we have, every pain we go through He can use to push us into His awaiting arms. He never gives up on us. He will make every wave chase you and move you until your feet hit the path that He has destined for you. Not a moment will go by that He has not purposed to draw you closer to Him. There was a time in my life, not too long after I became a Christian, that I looked back on my life and saw the pain, the hurt, the regrets, the sins, the shame and the guilt of a life not well lived. I was ashamed of whom I was then, and all I could see were the mistakes that I had made. But now, many years later, I know that every mistake, every sin, every moment of every day was just another wave pushing me into His loving arms. His love was relentless for me.            
              Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 15:10 that it is by the grace of God that he is what he is. We are who we are today because of all the mistakes we have made. I would not be who I am in Christ today had I not walked in the steps I walked in. I think sometimes as Christians we allow the regrets of our past to hold us back from the blessings that God has for us today. We focus so much on the past and who we were that we forget to look at who we are in Him today.
                His love is just like those waves that chased me up the shore until I could run no more. Had He not chased me, had He not pursued you and me so relentlessly we would not be where we are today, or who we are today. Every mistake we make is an opportunity for us to experience the grace and mercy of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I am not saying that we should go out and willfully sin it up or seek to make as many mistakes as we can. What I am saying is that I think we must come to a place in our walks where we accept these waves and stop beating ourselves us for running in them. Every experience, ever trial, every mistake God can and will use to make you and mold you into His image. “All things work together for good to those who love God to those who are the called according to His purposes.” (Romans 8:28 NKJV) We must believe that every wave that hits our feet is just another wave pushing us closer to His love for us. He is relentless towards us.

                It is my prayer today that whoever is reading these words will finally let go of the regrets they have made and run into the waves of Your relentless love for them. I pray that they will embrace the waves of Your mercy and believe that every mistake, every hurt, and every pain is just another wave pushing us closer and closer to Your grace. We are who we are today because of those waves. Don’t regret them. Run with them. All glory and honor and praise be to You, Lord Jesus, forever and ever amen and amen.