Stickers and check marks

The college-age renters above us like to have “deep” conversations late at night on their balcony. Their balcony is about five feet from our bedroom window so I hear a lot, even when I don’t want to hear it.

Lately, there has been a young girl involved in the discussions. She is probably twenty years old or so, based on her voice and topics of conversation. The guys treat her like a little sister for the most part, but I can hear her often striving to be included, to be a part of the group, in almost a desperate way.

My heart aches for this girl. She is seeking connection, worth, value, a sense of belonging. I want to go upstairs, when she is visiting, to tell her the truth. She is already valued, she already has worth. God said she is valued, she already has worth because of His Son.

So many of us go through life thinking we have to strive and strain to gain acceptance. As if there is a chart that God will put stickers or check marks on whenever we meet a goal or accomplish a task. God is not a score-keeper kind of God. He takes us as we are– right now, right here. He calls us to Him when we are dirty, messy, stained, full of shame and sorrow. He calls us to Him because He loves us. We matter to Him and we can find acceptance in Him –right now.

We just have to come to Him. We don’t have to get cleaned up, wear our best clothes, and use the right words. We just get to come “as we are.” We don’t have to give money to the right groups, belong to the right organizations. We just have to come.

There are no gold stars to earn to get into Heaven. The price has been paid through Jesus’ death on the cross. There are no check marks for us to earn, Jesus took our marks for us when he was beaten by the Roman soldiers. All we need to do is accept this gift and we are part of His family. We have a place, we belong. We are His.

All we need to do is come. Just as we are, right now.

Just As I Am

Just as I am, without one plea,
But that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bidst me come to Thee,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, and waiting not
To rid my soul of one dark blot,
To Thee whose blood can cleanse each spot,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, though tossed about
With many a conflict, many a doubt,
Fightings and fears within, without,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind;
Sight, riches, healing of the mind,
Yea, all I need in Thee to find,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, Thou wilt receive,
Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;
Because Thy promise I believe,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, Thy love unknown
Hath broken every barrier down;
Now, to be Thine, yea, Thine alone,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, of that free love
The breadth, length, depth, and height to prove,
Here for a season, then above,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!

By Charlotte Elliott (1789-1871)

About gretchenr17

Wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend. Writer, farmer, fellow sojourner... at every turn I learn a bit more about God's wild mercies.
This entry was posted in growing pains, reflections, Walking by Faith and not by sight and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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