I’ll make a list of God’s gracious dealings, all the things God has done that need praising, All the generous bounties of God, his great goodness to the family of Israel— Compassion lavished, love extravagant. He said, “Without question these are my people, children who would never betray me.” So he became their Savior. In all their troubles, he was troubled, too. He didn’t send someone else to help them. He did it himself, in person. Out of his own love and pity he redeemed them. He rescued them and carried them along for a long, long time. (Isaiah 63:7-9)
And carried them...
Those words speak volumes about the love of God - his grace and goodness going far and beyond what any of us deserve or even imagine we have need of in our lives. I have made a mental list of God's gracious dealings in my life, and I now have lost track of where he started and where he ended. Those gracious dealings are too innumerable for my finite memory to hold onto, but I can recall many and am so grateful for his blessed presence with me through each of those seasons. How about you? Can you make a mental list of his gracious and good dealings in your life? Are there many you might have even forgotten in that list? Likely so, for his 'dealings' really have no end and there are many that were 'behind the scenes' so that we don't even know he was setting all those things in motion. We see the end, but we don't know about all the steps it took to bring about that blessing.
Carried by Jesus - what exactly does that thought conjure up in your mind? Rescued first, then carried along - brought out of what to be taken where? Grace is made up of God's tremendous compassion - lavished upon us even when we are far from perfect and lacking in 'goodness' ourselves. When someone lavishes something upon another, it is in great measure and without end. That describes God's compassion so well - coming in greater measure than we might ever dream possible and then continuing to pour out time and time again without measure at all! The compassion of God expressed through is Son Jesus is given - rescuing us from a life of sin and death. His compassion lavished time and time again - until we realize how much we are loved and accepted.
Some struggle with 'feeling' accepted, but when we begin to realize we are being 'carried' by Jesus, no longer having to struggle in our own self-righteousness, we might just begin to realize we are held, then we begin to 'feel'. In all our filth, he draws us to his heart and holds us there. In all our doubt, he strokes our lives over and over again with his compassionate grace and extravagant love. We can actually 'feel' his acceptance, but we don't have to always 'feel' to know we are 'okay' in his arms. We lean into that trusting relationship - for being carried requires that we trust the one carrying us to be sure-footed, able, and strong in all the right ways. God doesn't just carry us for a bit - he carries us 'through all our years'. Now that should begin to give your heart a reason to utter resounding praise indeed! Just sayin!
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