yesterday i was studying Job..restudying Job. I have been attending a bible study of Job and this week is review week. i was remembering job's friends...and the lessons we learned from their "advice" to job. they gave heartfelt advice that was deeply grounded in their experiences, their wisdom, their knowledge, and what made sense. the problem was the advice they gave was not steeped in their knowledge of God and His wisdom and purposes.
that is when it all hit me like a 2X4 in between the eyes.
i am being Job's friends with the retreat...the Lord spoke somewhere in all the studying and showed me who i really am...as i looked over my formulated list of reasons why not to attend..i saw selfish, convenient, comfortable, and common sense reasons to not go..never did I pray "lord, show me what you have for me with this..show me if there is anyone who needs me to attend the retreat..show me your will."
my first reaction was repentance.."Lord, i know i sinned against you in my decision making only thinking of myself and what I desired and not thinking of you and your Kingdom purposes." Then the tears began to flow..I immediately started trying to figure out what I needed to do now. Who I needed to call to invite over so that I could reach out to someone this weekend and make staying at home valid..or who I needed to call to get signed up for the women's retreat so I could get right with God...and then God showed up again in the form of a husband who (after i explained everything with tears running down my face) said very calmly, "where is your freedom?" and then me calling a friend to "throw up my issues on her"...and she said with compassion and confidence, "when you turned from your sin before Christ, your sin was wiped clean. He now sees you as righteous before Him..completely clean." In other words, there is no penance needed to make the situation right...God is not surprised. He knew my sin before hand and will use it for His Glory..and for sure He has used it to draw me into a deeper understanding of Himself and my stance before Him.
i can't seem to get this "free to me" Grace..It wasn't just free because that would mean there was not a price, which certainly not the case...but it is completely and utterly free to me and given to me with great joy and perfect love..and i can get it into my head, but my heart keeps wanting/needing to do something for it. this view of grace leaves me busy, tired, entitled and then angry...in that order.