I was reading something this evening in Ephesians 2: 1-10 and I had one of those experiences of reading the same bible verse but the words seem much more different than the last; more accurately, the words are newer and deeper than the last time. So, I was reading verse one and it started with something like this:
“In the past you were dead because you sinned and fought against God. You followed the ways of this world and obeyed the devil……Once we were ruled by the selfish desires of our bodies and minds. We had made God angry, and we were going to be punished like everyone else. But God was merciful!”
From those lines, I remembered what life felt like without Christ. It was certainly dark and dirty. I was very sensitive and insecure about a whole lot of issues: from school and grades to family and my lack of domestic skills at the time. To peer pressure to date and how sickening it felt sometimes being unable to attract my high school crush (at that time) because I was a nerd. I was never depressed or anything like that, but deep down I was lonely. I had serious anger issues too. Whenever I get mad, my mouth works like it is configured in seconds none-stop. I will say all sort of hurtful things and apologize later, I would cry and wish I could just die, I would throw tantrums and once, I went on hunger strike for a day. Funnily, everyone didnt just think of me as a Christian, I was religious and I was my classmates problem solver. I would give everyone else perfect solutions on how to handle the drama in their lives, but mine was tanking fast, but nobody knew that because as one of my friends mildly put it, I was expected to be strong for everyone else and couldn’t afford to show weakness. In fact, I sagged with the entire responsibility; my parents expected a lot from me, my teachers, my classmates, my friends, they all expected me to be good and kind all the time. It was like I didn’t have a life! Like I was living solely to please other people, surviving on their opinion of me.
I had to lie constantly, had to talk tough and pretend a whole lot, you can’t even start to imagine. I was wasted and completely lost in my fake life, which I pretty thought was awesome by the way, until I experienced Christ in my life did I realize how messed up my life actually was. I am not a saint now or holier-than-thou, there are days of weaknesses, but it’s a lot better this days because I can see the miracles God’s mercy and grace has wrought in my life and of course the peace and comfort and a deep sense of belonging that comes from truly knowing Him.
Now I’m wondering what our lives would have turned out to be like if God hadn’t being merciful. Think about it, ask yourself this question: “If God didn’t love me this much, if He had given up on me, if He hadn’t sent Jesus, where would I have been or who would I have become?” If your imagination happens to be as vivid mine, then with the help of the Holy spirit, this passage of the bible will make a lot of sense to you. God is merciful and kind and we don’t deserve His love but he loves us anyway. Verse 9 of Ephesians 2 describes His love as a gift; a gift we didn’t earn and will never earn. Like I always say, God loved us first, we didn’t.
So then, what kind of mercy found us? Simple, undeserved mercy found us. Pure and deep mercy, mercy with all the traces of love embedded in it. God’s beautiful mercy found you and found me. His unearned gift of love found us just the way we are.