When I was loading the car to fly my elder daughter off to college, I stopped and made her look me in the eye to tell her this: “Life is hard.” Not sure why that was on my mind except that whether she knew it or not, up until that time in her life she had been fairly, though not entirely, insulated. She had yet to face much of life’s reality that she would be venturing into.
I followed that with a statement I knew to be true in my own life: “You have two ways to do this journey called life, with God or without God. I can assure you that without is so very much more difficult.” Of course, she looked at me with the face of an 18-year-old, her expression reading, “Really mom? I can’t wait to get on that plane and prove to the universe of the grown ups that I am among you and now I am free. I will make my own decisions. I’m a take-care-of-business girl. So let’s get going.”
I do realize that learning this lesson only comes by living it. My own journey has proven this to be true. The amazing part of this statement is not that life is hard, it’s that we have a God, Creator of the universe, who not only loves us but truly wants to walk this journey with us.
This world began when He did walk beside the humans He created. It was His desire, His purpose from the very beginning. Yet they chose—as we do every day—to create a dividing wall between their imperfect humanity and a perfect God. He cannot dwell among our sin, so the separation was established that we would not have Him daily at our side.
He was not content with this.
He loved us too much for that to be the end of the story. There was only one way to fix this, accomplished by the One who had no sin.
Jesus was that One. He entered this world born completely human, yet He was God’s Son and completely God. He was perfection in human form. He was the only permanent means to remove the sin we possess and become the bridge for God to once again walk with us.
His life was one of sorrow, His death one of agony. He demonstrated to us, through His choices, the perfected nature of grit and grace. He showed His grace in while we did absolutely nothing to earn it or deserve it, He came to give His life for us. The Bible tells us “But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners” (Romans 5:8, NLT). He never asked that we become good, act nice, or become lovely first. He looked at us, just as we are, and was deeply, entirely in love with each and every one of us. This is grace that we can only hope to extend to others.
He showed His grit when He chose to follow the path to His death.
He was entirely human and had no desire to take the steps He knew were ahead of Him. He fervently prayed, “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine” (Luke 22:42). He wished not to suffer as He would. To die on a cross was the most agonizing, horrific means of execution in the history of mankind. He truly showed His love for us in choosing this moment in time to make His sacrifice. Not when execution would be at its most humane, but when it was meted out with delight in the pain of the executed.
He understood it was for us, those that He loves. His example to us of doing what none of us would makes any agony, pain, or hardship we endure pale in comparison. His was an act of grit unparalleled before or since.
His death didn’t end His story, but began the hope that we have today. He conquered death, rising from His grave three days later to extend to us that bridge back to a relationship with Him. To a relationship with Him in this world, and perfection in the one hereafter.
We don’t have to walk this life alone.
Jesus has every desire that we walk it with Him. All it takes on our part is to admit that we need Him. To accept this sacrifice that He made, the only One that would take the sin we possess and suffer the punishment we deserve. And to believe that through His act we can live with Him now and live with Him forever.
To accept the path He created and cross that bridge He built is simple: just ask Him. He doesn’t require anything of you but your heart; there is nothing you can do to clean up the mess of this world, or the mess of your life. He is only looking for a sincere heart. He requires no grand words, just a simple prayer extended to Him that goes something like this…
I believe you are God. I believe that you came to this earth because you love me and want to live with me. I realize that I am lost without you. I’m a sinner who can’t fix anything myself. I accept that what You did on the cross was done for me. So please forgive me, come into my life and into my heart.
It’s that simple.
If you have made that commitment to Christ I would love to hear of it. Every one of the ladies at The Grit and Grace Project has done so ourselves. We have not achieved perfection, or lived life without challenges and heartache. But we have the wonderful privilege of a Savior, a God who calls us His friend and who walks with us through each and every day … giving us the courage and strength to live this life we call The Grit and Grace Project.