Sunday, April 12, 2009

Been a looooooooong time!

What's been happening with me?

Well, I was laid off from my job a couple of days after my last post. You'd think that would have allowed enough time in my day to blog more often. Oddly enough, it's been the opposite for me. I haven't been able to make the time to do this in months. Obviously.

I truly feel that this layoff has been a blessing in disguise. I've felt for a long time, now, that God has been calling me to do something else (what that is, I have no idea), but I was comfortable in my job, I loved the people I worked with and it was a good company. Even all that aside, I had a JOB and in this economy, that's pretty amazing in and of itself; so, I wasn't about to risk leaving a job that I was comfortable in and people that I liked being around. ESPECIALLY considering I had no idea what direction to take.

But, let me tell you... as soon as I heard that there were going to be layoffs in our company, I KNEW that I was going to be let go. Not because I was a poor performer, nor would it be because I lacked seniority; rather, I knew it was going to happen because God's will is going to be done and if I'm not going to willingly leave my job, then God was going to push me out of the proverbial boat so that I can walk on water towards Him.

So, here I am. Trusting God to provide for me and to guide me in the next steps of my life and I've never been more excited!

Now, on to more important things... today is Easter! Praise God for the indescribable gift of His Son and the tremendous sacrifice He made on all of our behalf's. If you ever have to wonder if God is good, just look at the cross. He loved, and loves, us so much that He was willing to take human form, come down to earth, live among us for 33 years and then die a criminal's death... all to reconcile us to Him. All to ensure that our sins would be forgiven. And, all to ensure that we would have an eternal home with Him in heaven. How amazing is that???

To top it off, all we need to do is to accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, repent of our sins and ask God into our hearts. We don't need to say a certain prayer a certain number of times. We don't need to complete 'x' acts of service. We don't need to try so hard, period. Not that we shouldn't be the best people we can be and not that we shouldn't live to be of service to others, but those things aren't what will get us into heaven. Only God's grace and mercy can accomplish that feat.

However, I can tell you that I, too, am extremely guilty of trying to 'work' for my salvation. I know how broken I am. I know how selfish and messed up I am. Maybe that's why I can't fathom that God wouldn't expect me to earn my way into heaven in some way. Sure He says that His grace is enough, but He can't really mean that, can He? I surely must need to do something. At least, those are the thoughts that run through my mind time after time... no matter what I know to be God's truth, those thoughts still creep in.

However, today, at Easter services, one of our Pastor's commented on something that I had never thought of before. He was recounting the story of Jesus being on the cross between the two crucified criminals. The one criminal was mocking Jesus, saying that if Jesus was really the Messiah, why doesn't he do something and get them all off of these crosses. The criminal on the other side of Jesus spoke up and said that both he and the other criminal deserved to be on those crosses, but Jesus had done nothing and in no way deserved this punishment. He then asked Jesus to remember him when he came into His kingdom. Jesus replied that he would be joining Jesus in paradise that day. Now, this criminal could literally do nothing. He was nailed to a cross. He couldn't temporarily jump down and feed a few hungry people. He couldn't jump down and preach the gospel. He couldn't jump down and heal sick people. Yet, because he acknowledged Jesus and who He is, Jesus assured him a place in paradise. Notice that? It wasn't because of anything the criminal DID, rather it was WHO he believed in and WHO he accepted as the Messiah. Another great illustration that God provided us of His grace. I pray that I remember the story of that criminal every time I feel inclined to try and earn my salvation versus accepting it as the gift, that it is, from God.