I love Five Minute Friday – have I said that lately? I’ve accepted the fact that between revising the manuscript for my first book (releasing spring 2016 by Crossway on the topic of finding healing and freedom from shame), and being at home 24/7 with my 4-year-olds during the summer, “Five Minute Friday” posts are the extent of my summer blogging schedule.
Here’s this week’s prompt: “try.”
Try feels like a law. Try harder … to be better, to run faster, to exercise more, to eat healthy, to parent calmly, to love fully, to be compassionate, to fight against injustice.
“Try” is a taskmaster, telling me that better is always up ahead, and that I haven’t ever quite made it. It’s like a finish line of a marathon continually being moved ahead a few miles, just when you round the corner and get a glimpse of it.
“Try” tends to be the staple of the church, the way we seek holiness and love.
But “try” doesn’t get you anywhere but discouraged.
Maybe that’s the silver lining of “try.” When I try harder to be better, to love, to embrace, to live according to who I know I am called to be – I forget that it’s not about my effort. It never has been. I can’t save myself. And I cannot make myself holy.
Jesus rescued me from “try” at the cross. Galatians 2:20-21 says that “if righteousness could be gained through the law, then Christ died for nothing.” It hit home for me the summer of grace between my sophomore and junior year of college. And I have to return to this beautiful, soul-liberating truth of grace that saves and grace that sustains and GRACE that will bring me home.
Try doesn’t cut it. Grace frees me from “try” and transforms “try” into “trust.” Trust that God did it ALL at the cross, and rest from “try” – trust that it has been finished, and that “the life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”