Monday, March 1, 2010

Larger than Life

So I was reading an email this morning regarding planets, and it occurred to me that some planets are actually comprised mostly of gas. I started thinking... How in the world can something as solid and tangible as a PLANET be composed of gas? Our planet is solid, firm. It is made of metals, rocks, earth, water. All tangible. But these other planets... say Saturn... are largely made up of gas! They have their own gravitational pull, their own storm systems, their own rings... and all they are is a big ball of gas. Like the sun. Like the stars. (Yes, I know the sun is star.)

What's my point? Why is this ball of gas a planet and not a star? How is this ball of gas so successful at being a planet, when all we have ever known as a planet has been hard rock, metal, ice, water, etc.? It doesn't fit our working definition of a planet.

I feel there are so many things in this life that portray this paradox. We see someone functioning in a political position that they don't have the credentials for. We live next door to a family that shouldn't have the things they have, because of their folly. Or, more close to home for many of us... we don't seem to have/do/be what we think we should have/do/be and it frustrates us.

Let me turn the tables on this thought, about 180 degrees... We humans live in a condition that is ultimately flawed. It is ultimately not good. It is ultimately not fair. We are big balls of gas parading around as planets. Yep, that's right. We are trying to be something we are technically not cut out for, and our problem is that we don't have--in our own strength--the gravitational pull to keep it all together.

Let's give this gravity a new name: grace. Truly this is what we need. Truly this is what we long for. Truly this is what we are dying for. Grace is not only what holds us together, but it is also what allows us to BE solid in our not-so-solid reality. It covers up the fact that we are flawed. It allows us to function as we know we should, even though our reality of sin and rebellion have turned us into something that should not ever allow us to be those planets that we were designed to be.

Grace. It's my gravity. And the best part is that because of this grace, my Creator, God, who made all the cosmos and all the elements and knows their potential as well as their limits, has given me a way to break free from my limitations by covering myself with His grace through Jesus Christ.

This is why I am able to say in full confidence that I am what I am supposed to be, even though I have shortcomings. Even though I mess up and sometimes even scar myself. His grace covers me. And it is His grace that He sees when He looks upon me. This is why He can still look down on His children the way He did at creation and still say, "It is good."

Romans 3:21-26

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