Thursday, December 13, 2012


"By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us."
1 John 3:16

For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be on the other side.

As a little girl, I loved God and I wanted to be good for Him.

I did what I thought I needed to do to get to the other side.

And that trying to get to the other side lasted most of my life.

I followed plans. I made promises. I mimicked others who I saw on the other side.

I pretended I was there. Hoping my pretending would magically turn into reality.

I walked the aisles of churches and was baptized four times. 

I made new more sincere and more tearful dedications and commitments.

I read books and listened to taped sermons.

I taught Sunday School and I did pretty much anything anyone at the church asked me to do.

I sang in choir lofts and I praised God the best I knew how.

I participated in Bible studies and joined prayer groups.

There were many many times I was convinced that I had made it to the other side, only to have my heart condemn me and convince me that I needed to do more.

Looking back, I know that I did hear the truth about how to get to the other side.

I heard the truth from godly pastors and from friends. I heard the truth from the ones who put their voices on tapes and their words in books.

I believe that I even heard it from God Himself.  But His voice was a voice that sounded too good and too kind and too full of grace to be real.

All the truth I heard had been distorted by my perceptions.

It has been easy to blame others for those "mis-perceptions."

And in all honesty, there was a time I did.

But I know now that it is man's natural tendency to try to fix himself. We are all like Adam and Eve who tried to cover themselves with fig leaves after they recognized the sin that had entered their souls.

It is the brokenness inside of us that falsely lets us believe that we can find our own way, across the gap that separates us from where we are to the place where we were created to be.

 I tried to bridge the gap myself, to find a way to the other side, until I was too discouraged and too disappointed to try anymore.

I finally gave up trying to get to the other side.

Years later, on a dark lonely road, trying desperately to get to my dying son, I cried out to The One on the other side.

I cried out for His forgiveness.

I cired out for His mercy.

I cried out for my son and for his life.

I cried out for God.

That night, I was completely helpless.

There were no church aisles to walk down or promises to be made.

There were no rededications or commitment cards to sign.

There was no questioning my sincerity.

There was no more trying.

I had nothing to offer.

No gifts to bring.

Yet, just like the veil that was torn in the temple the moment Jesus died on the cross, God tore down the veil in my life.

The veil was torn in the temple so all could see that their sins had been forgiven. So everyone could see the sacrifice of the perfect Lamb that was made once and for all, and that the gap between man's sin and God's holiness had been bridged by God's One and Only Son Jesus.

What I saw that night, when my veil was torn, was that I was already on the other side.

The other side is always where the Father is, and all those years when I thought that I had been left alone on the wrong side, He was there.

He had always been there.

I was already where I had always wanted to be.

"There's no way to earn what you've already got. 
Nothing to lose when you're loved from the start."

I had made it to the other side, not because of all my trying. Not because of anything good that I had ever done. Not because of the four times I had been baptized. Not because I had been sincere enough.

 I had made it to the other side because the Baby that left heaven and took on flesh to live a perfect life on this sinful earth loved me with a perfect love and laid down His life for me.

He left the beauty and glory of heaven knowing that He would die. That He would die so I could live.

Jesus came to do for me in His Holiness what I could never do for myself in my sin.

He laid down His life for me.

"O believer, this is thy security, that all thy sin and guilt, all thy transgressions and thine iniquities, have been atoned for, and were atoned for before they were committed; so that thou mayest come with boldness, though red with all crimes, and black with every lust, and lay thine hand on that Scapegoat's head, and when thou hast put thine hand there, and seen that Scapegoat driven into the wilderness, thou mayest clap thine hands for joy, and say, "It is finished, sin is pardoned." 
Charles Spurgeon

"As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; 
and I lay down My life for the sheep."
John 15:13

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