"There is, for each of us, a point of choice, when we determine just exactly who we will be. Whether we will continue to stay behind the veil of our own darkness, or come close to Him despite it. It is this desperate longing to draw near to Him, even in the midst of our sin, which leads us to the place where His sheep feed and find rest. We remember anew that “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). It causes us to see ourselves in a different light. We are no longer the “veiled.” We are the Beloved." – John Crowder
Father I feel your grace this year! I was tempted to bemoan my failures but you said "Forget the former things..." I await the wind of your Spirit. Blow apon these fragile wings. I DO want to soar with YOU!
"We have to understand both dimensions of the redeemed heart to understand the grace of God in a more complete way. There is a greater capacity for sin in our hearts than we comprehend. No one fully grasps the depth of the wickedness in the human heart. We have many unperceived areas of sin which lie undetected below the surface like hidden fault lines. On the other hand, the grace of God has helped us in ways which we do not fully understand. "
"To know that I am dark yet lovely is to understand my weakness, which is comprised of my sinfulness, my immaturity and my natural limitations together with the revelation of my loveliness to Him. “Bow down Your ear, O Lord, hear me; for I am poor and needy. Preserve my life, for I am holy” (Psalm 86:1,2). Without understanding this combined confession, we cannot continually progress in our pursuit of love. We are both far weaker and far lovelier than we realize. This is one of the most difficult tensions for a believer to combine. Typically we can understand one side of this paradox or the other, but we have difficulty grasping both of them together. By knowing our darkness, we fully receive and draw upon His strength. By nature, we so often want to be able to stand in our own resolution and commitments to the Lord. Yet God is committed to revealing the weakness of our flesh to us. He wants us to have a leaning heart at the end of the journey. He desires that we would not find our confidence in our commitment to Him but in His commitment to us. As Jeremiah said, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it”? (Jeremiah 17:9)
"By knowing our beauty to Him we are empowered to have confidence before God even when our sin and immaturity is unveiled. When the enemy comes with accusation regarding my weakness or immaturity, I respond with the truth of Jesus’ delight in me even in my weakness. When He comes to deceive me into taking pride in my beauty or strength, I respond with the vivid remembrance of my weakness. Our loveliness protects us from shame and condemnation. Our weakness keeps us from pride and arrogance. Together they enable us to wholeheartedly abandon ourselves in love, confident before Him." - Dana Chandler
"We are God's image - yes, but we are not yet God's likeness; we have a capacity for God - yes, but it is not yet fully actualized. And so it is that to experience our divine capacity is to experience our innate nobility and our innate poverty - both experiences urging us on in our quest for God." - (quote from the Notre-Dame de l'Assomption Abbey)