grace

“i see Him, but not now; i behold Him, but not near.”1

some people hate the rain. the dreary grayness depresses them and their spirits match the weather until the clouds finally break and the sun reappears. i have nothing against sunny days, but rain and fog are intrinsically beautiful to me in ways blue skies simply cannot compete. behind the veil is a promise, a sense of hope hiding just beyond the cloud cover: what you see is not forever, is not even an accurate depiction of reality—the sun, in fact, still exists.

it’s the rainy season here, and yesterday as i was leaving the school, i was overwhelmed with the beauty of the fog in the mountains. it seemed to embody the confusion and lostness i’ve felt in my own heart lately. what has brought me here? where is God? who am i?

of course, i know the answers to these questions; but it’s easy to lose sight of them in the process of sanctification and maturation which faith brings. so today, i took a walk to beautiful 浜の町, drank 抹茶, listened to amazing grace, and remembered.

it was His grace that rescued me from myself, that opened my eyes to see Him and liberated me to walk in the light of the gospel. it was not accomplished by my own efforts to keep the law or to conform to some outward standard of righteousness, but through the gift of faith i received from His hand.

“‘twas grace that taught my heart to fear, and grace my fears relieved.”

it is a paradoxical gospel, in which all i do to qualify is to admit i don’t. through this gospel i learn that mercy triumphs over judgment; that Jesus is more satisfying than anything this world could offer; and that my relationship with Him is prioritized over all else. He is Emmanuel: God with me.

so who am i? i don’t know—i am hid in Christ. where is God? He is with me. and what has brought me here? “‘tis grace that brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead home.” each day brings me closer, perhaps not to the earthly home i yearn for, but definitely to the place of eternal rest, refuge within the God of love.

“we’ve no less days to sing His praise than when we’d first begun.”