We returned to Costa Rica two days ago after nearly two months in the States, and as I’ve been reflecting on this last season and looking forward to the next one… I’m filled with gratitude. I’m blown away by the abundant love, grace, patience, and provision of God. I’ve had so many days where I feel like I’m failing – as a wife, a mom, a friend, a daughter, a sister, a follower of Jesus, etc. – yet, God keeps showing me that I’m worth everything. He shows us that we’re worth the blood of Jesus, we’re worth another chance. Worth all His love, all His grace, all His hope, time, and unlimited resources.
All for relationship.
All so you can know Him, and know that you are deeply known.
And in that knowing, of every part of you, there is nothing but the purest love for you.
He knows me, and He is love. I know Him, but I fail at it every day, or fall short, at least. I could never love perfectly as He does, yet He chooses to walk with me. He’ll never get an equal return, yet says I’m worth the investment.
The Gospel is so counter-cultural.
In a world that tells you “you deserve _______, because ________.” and that you shouldn’t waste your time on things or people that don’t give an equal exchange on your investment, Jesus first shows us a love that expects nothing in return, and then He tells us to love that way.
Then, He goes further to say,
“love your enemies”
“give everything you have and follow me”
“if you have a coat and your neighbor needs one, do not hesitate to give it away”
…and so many things that are refreshing to our soul, but offensive to what society tells us.
Nothing is earned in His Kingdom. None is greater than another. There’s only love and grace and the acceptance of a gift we could never earn or deserve. There’s no need for performance, or space for competition. Only a love from the Father that we can never change or make go away. There’s no higher or lower, just children with unique gifts and passions who are wholly loved and accepted.
And in this Kingdom, being blessed is being persecuted for His name. Blesses are the poor in spirit. Blessed are those who mourn. Blessed are the meek, the righteousness-seekers, and the merciful, the pure in heart, and blessed are the peacemakers.
In a world that thinks being #blessed is putting a down payment on a new house, eating a nice steak dinner, getting a raise, graduating from college, or having a family who loves you… Jesus talks nothing like that when He tells us what blessed is. Those things might make you feel good, but the truth is this:
To be blessed is to have the inner joy and peace that comes with being right with God.
I think that’s the deepest desire among the entire human race.
It’s interesting to me that what we all long for has been freely given to all of us at the cross, and all we have to do is receive it, and pursue Him. It’s not about striving, or earning it. It’s not about a good performance or a checklist. It’s so simple. Jesus made a way for us to have peace with God, to be unified with His heart, to know Him. And nothing we do can take that away. It’s just up to us to accept or reject it.
We have every reason to accept it, yet I feel like we come up with so many reasons to reject it, as we constantly pursue everything He has offered us in places and people that will never fill us.
The greatest desire in every one of our hearts is standing right before us, every single day, gentle yet unwavering, perfect yet humble, powerful yet peaceful, just yet gracious.