“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” [Hebrews 4:16]
Saturday evening as I walked out of the house, my mom reminded me of my midnight curfew. Midnight on the weekend and eleven o’clock on weeknights. That’s the deal I have managed to strike being a twenty year old college student home for the summer. My mom finds peace in knowing where her children are and knowing they are home safe when she goes to bed at night. Needless to say my decision to head out an hour before her bedtime and meet up with a guy she had never met didn’t settle too well. Thank God my parents trust me and I am able to approach them with confidence allowing me to go out.
This guy has been in my life for only two short weeks but has shared with me more of his heart than many of my friends. He has become an incredible brother in Christ and someone who speaks sassy and sarcastic truths deep into my heart. Sitting in Starbucks for a little over three hours we had one of the most intentional and spiritual conversations of my entire life. I drank unsweetened green tea and he drank passion tea lemonade, it’s the little details like that that matter. We talked about God and how big He really is, laughing as we outstretched our arms unable to grasp His enormity.
Our conversation bounced back and forth between lighthearted sass and some serious life conversations. Often times I tell people I don’t choose who I open up to, I just get a feeling when I am around them. I fully believe that God places these certain individuals in my life to “do life” with. It makes absolutely no sense to me, to the point where I am beyond frustrated, but I trust these individuals with my life. After digging deep and shoveling through all of the crap surrounding our hearts we were able to show each other how fully human and flawed we are. As we reached where we are now, the conversation shifted to how we desire to be less of this world as we fill our hearts with God.
My heart used to be empty as I continuously attempted to fill it with everything but a relationship with The Lord. I have been so filled by, only recently, surrounding myself with His love and incredible brothers and sisters in Christ. Being fully human means we are ALL flawed in one way or another. You and I both have our “time of need” as mentioned in the fourth chapter of Hebrews. I need help more than I would like to admit, and asking for help is hard dude. Personally, I avoid it at all costs. I had always seen approaching someone for forgiveness or compassion as a sign of weakness, not something to be done for personal growth. Not until I came to know the character of our God.
How cool is it that we are invited to approach the throne of the almighty God with our messy and broken human hearts. Not only are we invited to approach, but we are encouraged. “Let us approach God’s throne of grace with confidence.” [Hebrews 4:16] Confidence. Asking for help is hard enough, but asking for help with confidence is truly a foreign concept to me. Usually I hide behind a short text or a cleverly worded email portraying the image that I am doing just fine. Just imagine with me, confidently walking up to a throne. Not just a friend on in the dorm across campus, or your mom on the couch, but a throne where our God is straight chillin’.
Well, he’s there. Waiting. Waiting for you and me with His arms wide open. He sits full of compassion and ready to forgive us of our sins. The God of our universe who is “the breath in our lungs” [Great Are You Lord] has an unimaginable amount of mercy for His beloved children and is just waiting for us to approach the throne upon which He resides. Once we have received his forgiveness we have to make a choice. To hide behind our sins or strive to allow the transformation within us by the grace we have been given “to help us in our time of need.” [Hebrews 4:16] This is a two part deal. We need His mercy to be compassionately forgiven, but also His grace to learn from the past and carry on in our future.
Saturday night was far beyond encouraging. It allowed me to see the importance of looking toward the future while never forgetting to recognize the progress you have made or the place you came from. More often than not I have become discouraged in this process of seeking compassion and forgiveness. Discouraged that my mistakes are too big to be forgiven or too messy to deserve grace. This could not be further from the truth. That is truly the amazing part of our Lord’s incredibly merciful and graceful nature. It’s always there and it never runs out.
So here’s to you, wherever you be and whatever you may be struggling with. I pray you may have the confidence to accept the mercy of our God. To allow yourself to be washed clean by His forgiveness and compassion. To have the courage to allow yourself to be transformed through His grace.