A few weeks ago, after applying lipstick to her lips, my daughter Gracie added a little to her eye.
She wanted to look pretty for Sunday night church.
Looking through my pictures tonight and seeing this one brings me heartache and joy all at the same time.
She had no idea how bad that lipgloss was going to hurt her eye. She made that decision with full confidence that it was the right one, only to find out afterwards it wasn’t… and it didn’t get better after a few minutes.. it kept hurting… for days… which had to have felt like years to a 4 year who’s world ends when she can’t have brownies for breakfast.
I’ve made so many mistakes.
Mistakes that didn’t go away over night, mistakes that I was sure were right until I knew they weren’t, mistakes that caused a lot of pain, some not just for myself.
We’re all hurting. Maybe it’s something you’ve done; maybe it’s something someone’s done to you. Maybe it’s a bunch of things all piling up and you’re not in physical pain but you’re also not completely sure you’re not drowning either.
Gosh, I get it.
Some of my favorite verses of the Bible are from Romans 7. Paul claims, almost sounding frustrated, the things he wants to avoid, he does… and the things he wants to do.. he doesn’t.
Sin is frustrating like that.
Even after God rescues us, sin still tries to hold us down. Satan gives us permission to live the lives we want and promises us, with no authority, that it will be fine when we do. Now do I think Satan convinced my baby girl to put that lipstick in her eye? Of course not. But I know it looked a lot like it does in our lives today.
She cried. It festered. and it didn’t immediately go away, but then it did.
It’s like we live in a styrofoam cup.. and Satan pokes the smallest, most unnoticeable hole in the bottom of our cup and no matter what we do, no matter what we get, no matter how many times were right… we never top off… we’re always drained.. tired.. hurting…
The chapter ends with “so then I am myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to sin”
That’s chapter 7 of Romans… but then comes chapter 8. I’m only going to share with you one verse and it’s the first one.
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:1
Let me say it to you in a down to earth way, if I may.
I want to obey God, I want to get it right, but trying to fight all the bad stuff in me, I also feel like a slave to sin. BUT BECAUSE OF THIS now there is no condemnation for the ones who love Jesus. why? Because of Jesus, Himself. He has given us a life and set us free from having to get it all right.. and from going to hell if we don’t.
God gives grace.
I remembered when God gave me my mission… my ministry. I thought surely He had it wrong or I had heard it wrong one. God, People aren’t going to listen to me. God, you don’t understand, I don’t even like people that much…like I’m scared of them. God, no.
I knew how far I fell from Glory, how far I still fall. I knew I had a past. I knew I still had so much growing to do before I tried to lead anybody in anything, much less through something like the Bible, but that is condemnation.
I was still trying to live in the world I had been set free from. When we accept Christ we trade condemnation for conviction.
Condemnation: the action of condemning someone to punishment, sentencing
Conviction: a formal declaration of guilt.
Guilt is a feeling, guilty is a sentencing and there is such a difference, one that Satan wants to remain hidden.
A dear friend of mine told me a few days ago, after a tough week, “Katie, you put way to much pressure on yourself to be perfect” And I do. I want to please God so so bad that when I do something stupid it feels devastating. I’ve been so upset with myself over the last week that tonight I found myself right here in these pages, right back to these two chapters to remind myself that God gives grace.
Know your Bible. Know what is of God and what is of Satan, and know where you can run to expose the lies and replace them with truths.
God isn’t mad at me, and He is not upset with you either. He sees your hurting, he hears your heart, and He blames you none.
Her eye looks horrible, but look at her smile.
Sin festers, but God brings life.
Mistakes bring tears, but mistakes we learn from bring Glory.