A few years ago my wife and I tried to buy a house. I remember sitting at a table with the mortgage broker and thumbing through a giant stack of documents. It was a mountain of papers that covered everything from the mortgage to taxes, insurance to closing costs, and every other imaginable house buying thing you could think of. In fact, there were papers in there saying things that surprised me. It seemed like the fine print was too much and I began to feel that I didn’t really know what I was getting in to. I was nervous that after signing, about 1,000 different papers, that I’d later regret a piece of fine print that I failed to notice.
During my journey as a Christian I have often questioned why God loves me. Each year seems to reveal more about myself that I don’t really like. I am often tempted to think God might want to tear up our contract. I picture God sitting at the “let’s make a deal table” of my salvation and signing the papers only later to regret what He got Himself into. I might be the house that God wished He hadn’t paid for. I’m too much trouble.
And yet, this phrase has become a critical mantra for me lately; God knew what He was getting in to when He saved me. Say that to yourself and let it sink in for a minute. — God knew what He was getting in to when He saved you.
The more I study the Gospel of Jesus and the cross I am able to grasp the full gravity of His decision. Jesus dying on the cross was no band-aid. It wasn’t a “plan B” or a hasty decision. The substitutionary work of the death of Christ was a move thousands of years in the making. God’s plan to redeem mankind, including me, was formed in His heart before creation. God knew what it would take to truly have an eternal relationship with His creation. He signed on the dotted line and doesn’t regret it one bit.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.” (Eph. 1:3-7)
You can have full confidence that Jesus willingly laid down His life to save you and make you a new person. (Jn. 10:18) It was “in accordance with His pleasure”. Wow! You can trust that whatever God started in you by saving you He’ll finish. (Phil. 1:6) He bought the house, leaks, cracks, pests and all. He knew what He was getting in to. And better than someone who buys a home just to leave it broken or rent it to someone else – God bought you so that He could transform you into something beautiful for Himself. You are not a piece of property that God hires someone else to manage. You are His precious child that He wants to spend time with, improve, and enjoy fully! (Rom. 8:14-16)
I’ve always been tempted to avoid confessing my sin. I hate to admit how awful I can be and disappoint my heavenly Father. I imagine you might also see confession in a negative light as something that we must do to make God love us again. That is so far from the truth! Confession is something God created for restoration and joy. The core of confession is not how bad we are but how great God is! It is in God’s amazing grace that He promises to immediately forgive and cleanse any sin we bring to Him. (I Jn. 1:9) We don’t catch Him off guard with our weakness. We don’t surprise Him with our failings. He knew what He was getting in to.
May you find a new joy in running to your Heavenly Father even in your sinful moments. May you trust that God is in this for the long haul. He saved you and He will faithfully create something beautiful out of your mess. You are His beautiful mess. Breathe it in and allow yourself to smile once again.