falling into grace

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

"This is not the way my life was supposed to be. This was not part of the plan." Hearts ache for what has been done, those things we cannot change. Those things we did not plan.

Small shoulders sag under the weight. How did this happen? How could this be? I was so careful in my plans.

A wet piece of paper holding up a bowling ball, this is how ones life can feel at times. What happens when the paper tears and the ball is dropped? Where do we fall? When the pain is too much, what then? At first glance it appears that we have fallen right from grace.

But such is not the case. In fact it is the self-constructed pedestal of pride from which we have fallen - and it hurts . . .

The son, not quite a man, but no longer just a boy, fishes with his father. They bait the hook, attach the lure. The trap is set. Then father teaches son all about lures. To entice is their purpose. To entice is also his, that one who truly fell from grace and wants to drag us down with him, bound with flaxen cords. "There are different kinds", he says, "For different fish like different things. But his tackle box is full, and he knows which lure to use." Beware the deceiver.

A fish is dropped between the planks of the dock, left there to die by someone else who could not be bothered - that life, so seemingly insignificant. It is only a flounder, after-all. Trapped between wood and styrofoam, unable to save itself. But the son sees purpose. His line is put down the crack in hopes that the fish will bite and then be pulled to safety. It will not take the bait. Doesn't it know we are trying to help? No. For this is the plan of the father of all lies. The lure is not safe, we have learned this. We have been burned in the past. We would rather risk the unknown than to take that lure. Sometimes something that looks like hurt is actually help. And sometimes we do not even see it anymore. Hopelessness can be so blinding.

There are many lessons for us to learn. The lessons of forgivness and tolerance and love, pure love - these are not easy lessons to learn. 

We pray for what we know, for those things we can easily understand, but God's ways are not always familiar. He takes us through depths we never asked to go. He knows what we can do, and how the seemily insurmountable task it is to be done. When fog clouds our vision, only He can see through. He shows us the way because He is the way. Some parts of us may have to die in order to make place for something so much better to live and grow.

It is at times such as these when someone so much stronger than ourselves must pull on that board - that cross and those nails - lifting it free from its hold over us. And a hand reaches down. It wraps around us, warm and strong and secure. That flounder is literally scooped up - up out of the pit - and placed back into living waters.

The Son sees purpose.

Even in this.

Even for me.

This is Christ's mission. This is what He came to earth to do, this is why He bids us to come unto Him. He is the fisher of men. He came to rescue all us flounders stuck in deep mire, unable to free ourselves. No matter the cause. Maybe we jumped in. Maybe we took the bait and bit that lure, only to be cast aside by the one who would leave us for dead. Maybe we were placed in the cracks through the actions of others. And now we cannot see the way for the way seems impossible. How will we ever get out? Can there really be one mighty enough to save?

No one can come unto the Father except by the Son.

Because there is no "supposed to be". We have only what we are given. That is all we have to work with. And all our "supposed to be's" no longer matter. It is not what was supposed to be, it is simply what is. And when tough times come bringing pain and sorrow with them, and we want to shudder and shrink from the weight of it all, we would do well to remember that we will not be left to flounder. Even when we are a fish out of water and breathing burns like fire, their is hope of rescue.

The fisher of men does not use lures. He will not bind, but sets us free. Back to sea we swim to carry on in our mission and purpose. We are lifted out of sin, out of temptations snare, even out of heartache that threatens destruction of all hope. And we fall into grace. One more soul is saved.

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