Written by: Lanissa Reale
Everyday I wake up to a blank canvas of opportunities ahead of me. Filling that blank canvas with tasks, assignments, meetings, relationships, and choices galore leaves me with the reality of striving, dreaming, struggling, winning and praying.
Each day I wake up human, prone to mistakes, prone to going through seasons and processes and prone to continuously putting cracks into this vessel called my life. I am human. I am limited, selfish, a mistake maker and expectation failure.
You see I know, we all know, very well who we are and what we lack. We try to fill voids by our own strength, and struggle to stand on our own two feet with confidence and peace although we know that we desperately need and long for some grace. But God hears us, He knows us, and He sent His Son to die as the final sacrifice for our sin and to be raised to life so that we would no longer have to struggle and remain in our sin and our lack. The Lord has given us a new life, and is calling us to live in it as new creations. To not look at our life from a standpoint of problem, but of promise. To find our identity in Him and only Him. And when we fall short, to receive His grace each and every morning. Pastor Keith Pittman from Celebration Church once said, “God’s grace is like a life-proof case. It doesn’t keep you from falling but it keeps you from shattering”. I have learned within this past three years, that when we put expectations on people and on God of what we think our lives should look like, we are only setting ourselves up for disappoint, hard falls, heart ache and even bitterness and anger toward God for not answering our prayers.
God’s grace is sufficient for you, but only if you choose to rely on Him rather than yourself. He knows you. He knew you and created you and had plans for you before you were even woven in your mother’s womb. And He sent His Son for you so that you would be able to live a better and new life, not the life that you planned out for yourself. And thank God. Because the life that I had planned in my little head for myself and those around me was covered with cracks and mistakes and false expectations. God wants us to know, today, that He has something better in store for us. He has forgiveness, and freedom, and whole hearts, and a life of peace. And all we have to do is surrender all that we are, all of our expectations and all of our fears to Him completely… letting Him have it all. We no longer have to hold it all together and try to figure it all out, but we can trust Him to work all things together for our good.
Each day we wake up and we face a broken world. But we belong to and are made new by a HOLY and good God. In our daily struggle, we now get to look at it through the promise of God instead of eyes that only see regret and problems. When we are down, He picks us up. When we feel unworthy, He reminds us that the Creator always knows the worth of His masterpiece even when others don’t see it themselves. When we have messed up, He continuously gives us grace. And when we feel like we can’t do it on our own anymore, He says good because I never intended you to. Daily, we are reminded of what we lacked before the cross. Yet now, we can wake up each day knowing that we have been given new life, new power, new inheritance and new authority because He who created all things now lives in us.
We are ashes continuously being given beauty instead of shame. We are always Becoming. You see God doesn’t look at your sin and lack and say “away from me”. No, no. He says “I see my Son Jesus, and your sins I remember no more. Come to me, and find rest. I am all you need, my grace is sufficient for you”. We are vessels, cracked vessels. Yet the more cracks we get, the more that the light of the Father can shine in and through us.
Our pain is not our destiny. Our mistakes are not our identity. HE looks at us and gladly, with open arms, says “yes, I want and have wanted that one, just the way they are”.
Be encouraged, you are loved and cherished more than you know! In Him, there is always beauty for ashes.
~Isaiah 62:3; Psalms 94:18; Isaiah 61:3; Lamentations 3:23~
Until next time,
~Lanissa Reale (lanissareale.wordpress.com)