Some days are just plain hard.
Some days the ugly comes pouring out. Some days it’s not sacred ointment I pour on His feet, but soul-vomit and tears. Do you have those days, too?
When the haggard woman staring back is NOT so much the kind, sweet, put-together girl that you want to see, but some crazy lady who looks like she is one espresso shot shy of a latte. (If you know what I mean.)
And as much as I want it to be all picture perfect, my life just isn’t. Grouchy attitudes, unpleasant realities, and peanut-butter and jelly sandwiches smashed into car seats happens. Irritations simmer, personalities collide, and the laundry mountain isn’t going anywhere. (Except up.) It is days like this when I most need to be reminded of the truth of the Gospel.
Jesus came to save.
And oh, it is His love that saves. I don’t need to be reminded of how far short I fall, I need a love that never fails when I do, again. The gospel holds up. It takes the worst of us and gives back grace. This is not a porcelain love to be admired on a tidy mantel shelf – it is a sturdy love to build a life on. It is a hammer and nails kind of love that will hold you together when everything else is falling apart.
Love is not just for the pretty days, the sunshine and popsicle days, the days we’re kind of almost winning this whole life thing…it’s the arms that hold us when our world has crashed in. When it’s the darkest night we’ve ever seen, the deepest pain we’ve ever known, when we are at the utter and total end of ourselves. Love sustains. In the face of senseless brutality, and the horror of evil played out in the reality of a fallen world, this love does not flicker out or wither away. It is an anchor, a beacon, a refuge. It’s not going anywhere.
And in the mundane, the hormones-awry, kids-are-fighting, and hubby’s-late days, it still holds up. It is the fabric of our very life, the fiber that weaves our torn pieces together. This is not some cheap, synthetic blend that pills and wears through the first time it hits hot water and throw up. This Jesus love is rugged. It can endure the day-in, day-out tug of war between the girl we want to be, and the girl we are when the poop leaks out of the diapers and becomes something to use as finger paint. (I am not. Even. Kidding. Toddlerhood is a very body-fluids-intensive time of life. Also, I use Lysol wipes by the case.)
When Psalm 61:3 reports that God is a shelter and a strong tower, it’s easy to forget that the writer knew what is was to have his world collapse. His father in law literally ordered a hit on him, his wife was given to someone else, and he found himself rejected and betrayed multiple times. His child died. One son raped his daughter, and another son killed the rapist. And that’s just the abbreviated version. And yet, this grieving man found the love of God to be the one thing that could hold him up when everything else in his life was knocking him down.
I see it written all over the pages of sacred Scripture, and scattered across the ages of history: this faithful, sustaining love. And yet, I hesitate. I get distracted. You, too? When my wonder dulls, and I gloss over the truth about Calvary, I miss out. My family misses out. Because THIS day is not beyond His ability to redeem, too.
Saving grace is not just for eternity, it’s for here and now, too. Jesus’ favorite place is not the church pew, but your kitchen table. And your office. And your laundry room. His love is the most important thing, not because we must spend hours sitting and admiring it, but because it is the sturdy thing that carries us through the ugly moments, the hard things, and the endless routine. His love elevates taking-out-the-garbage-and-washing-dishes mundane into something holy.
When we serve with love, drudgery becomes opportunity. The gospel saves, yet again. Not just your soul, but your day.
Because the Gospel is Christ’s love, applied.
And it makes all the difference.
Grace, peace, and wet wipes,