When a Sinful Heart Becomes Overwhelmed by God's Grace, Mercy, and Love
Never in my life would I have said I loved darkness or evil. I’ve always been a good girl, a rule follower, a people pleaser. Of course I hated darkness, what kind of demented soul would say they loved evil?
But I did. And I do.
I love darkness. My heart naturally leans toward my desires over righteousness.
I think of my college days—I hadn’t yet begun a personal relationship with the Lord, but I knew who God was and what he expected. I grew up going to church and memorizing Bible verses; never would I have said I hated God. Even before I truly understood it, I knew that God was love and I loved him. Yet in those first years of young-adult freedom, I abandoned church because it required effort. I avoided God because acknowledging him would ignite guilt about the choices I was making. Life was more fun in darkness without God making me feel bad about enjoying “the college experience.”
I think of my life now—I understand the power of and am living in a daily, personal, intimate relationship with my Savior and my God. Still, my need to “vent” devolves into harsh words spoken about people I love. I think about how I choose to spend my time, valuing work and busyness over intentional, focused time reading and studying God’s word. I think about the thoughts in my head that I’d never dare say aloud but darken my heart nonetheless. I think about the times when I choose quick words in anger, when I stew over hurts instead of choosing forgiveness, when I ignore what is good and dwell on what is bad. I think of how hard it is to choose patience, kindness, gentleness, and self-control—things that don’t just happen, that don’t come naturally. Life is easier in darkness because I don’t have to fight against my feelings.
Though I would never say I hate the light, I must confess that I do love darkness. Not because I want to but because I have a sinful heart that naturally leans toward it.
And that’s why I sat in church this past week, tears streaming down my cheeks as I sang the words from Cory Asbury, “I couldn't earn it, and I don't deserve it, still, You give Yourself away . . . Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God.“
Because despite my evil heart that leans toward darkness, God loves me. He wants me. He pursues me. He doesn’t give up on me.
I stood in the back of my church truly overwhelmed by God’s grace, mercy, and love . . . and my only response was to let my tears fall in worship.
I thank God that he reminds me of my sinful, human nature. I thank God that he points out my sin and convicts my heart. Because if I didn’t recognize the awful condition of my heart, I wouldn’t feel the power of the saving grace that pours from his.