|(Photo from dreamstime.com)|
Lately, I’ve been overwhelmed from every direction with messages about God’s grace.
Andrew Wommack calls the gospel of God’s grace, the nearly-too-good-to-be-true news. Sometimes I find myself in overload mode, breathing quickly and so shallow, with excitement over how much and how unconditionally God loves me.
Quick story. While at a Thursday morning Bible study learning even more about God’s amazing grace through the book of Romans, God took me back to a distant but beautiful memory.
We lived in Rome, New York at the time. (Is it coincidence that we’re going through the book of Romans?) I’d turned my back on God for a season and was wallowing in pathetic guilt and shame and reasoned that there was no way God could allow me back into His arms. Now, I know that Satan was behind that message, but at the time, I couldn’t imagine God even wanted to look at me.
While driving down a lonely road, I was feeling insanely depressed and afraid that I could never make my way back to the loving God of the universe, because I’d betrayed Him. Tears of fear were quickly replaced by tears of joy as God sang through my radio to me. You may think this sounds crazy or even corny or unbelievable, but, He spoke to me, clearly through lyrics that melted my heart as I realized He was still pursuing me, still reaching out to me – He still wanted me; He still loved me!
The song seemed to play for an eternity as I took in the words:
“Pretty woman, walkin’ down the street. Pretty woman, the kind I’d like to meet…..
Pretty woman, stop a while. Pretty woman, talk a while. Pretty woman give your smile to me…..
Pretty woman, look my way. Pretty woman, say you’ll stay with me….. ‘cause I need you, I’ll treat you right, come with me girl, be mine tonight
Pretty woman, don’t walk on by. Pretty woman, don’t make me cry. Pretty woman, don’t walk on by…
I guess I’ll go on home, it’s late, there’ll be tomorrow night – but wait! What do I see? Yeah – you’re walking back to me!”
|(photo from videoblocks.com)|
Now, I realize the original intent behind the song is a man just trying to pick up a pretty woman. I get that. But, God knew how to reach out and catch my attention. He knows my heart. He knows the words that press buttons in my brain. He knows how much I long to be pretty – and I’m pretty to Him. I don’t care to be beautiful, I long to be pretty. So, He called out to me, Hey – Pretty woman! Stop what you’re doing and come back to me! Talk with me, stay with me, be mine!
Then, as my heart turned whole-heartedly to Him, He chimed in with the line, “What do I see? You’re walking back to me!”
How can that story not reduce you to tears? Well, maybe it doesn’t make you cry – but, I was bawling like crazy. I probably had to pull off to the side of the road.
That was many years ago, but still, God continues to woo me, to pursue me, to teach my heart about His unending grace; His forever love!
He’s continuously calling out to you, too –
Listen for Him.
(photo fro videoblocks.com)
1 O Lord, you have examined my heart
and know everything about me.
2 You know when I sit down or stand up.
You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
3 You see me when I travel
and when I rest at home.
You know everything I do.
4 You know what I am going to say
even before I say it, Lord.
5 You go before me and follow me.
You place your hand of blessing on my head.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too great for me to understand!
7 I can never escape from your Spirit!
I can never get away from your presence!
8 If I go up to heaven, you are there;
if I go down to the grave,[a] you are there.
9 If I ride the wings of the morning,
if I dwell by the farthest oceans,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
and your strength will support me.
11 I could ask the darkness to hide me
and the light around me to become night—
12 but even in darkness I cannot hide from you.
To you the night shines as bright as day.
Darkness and light are the same to you.
13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
16 You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed.
17 How precious are your thoughts about me,[b] O God.
They cannot be numbered!
18 I can’t even count them;
they outnumber the grains of sand!
And when I wake up,
you are still with me!”
New Living Translation (NLT)