At least in posting blogs lately.
I figured, since not much is going on in my life except music and ministry (which is actually a lot but not very easy to write about) I would post something a little differently this time. If you were at one of our concerts and I was giving the testimony for that night, this might be something that you would hear. You have quite an advantage in hearing one of my testimonies this way actually because you get to be in the comfort and quiet of your own home (or office…or wherever you’re reading this) instead of in a sea of people.
Anyway, here it goes:
I want to share with you about a good friend of mine. I’m going to change her name to Emily just for her sake but um….Emily and i were good friends in high school. Actually she was a year older than me so I was a senior and she had just graduated and I remember all I wanted was to be like her. She was the coolest Christian I knew. she had tons of friends and started bible studies all over the place and prayed for people; she was on the college-age worship team; she was a high school leader; she went on all these mission trips…she was just amazing.
Have any of you ever had people in your life like that? People that just make you want to be better than you are? Emily did that….in a good way though…she spurred me on to grow more intimate with the Lord and to be confidently passionate.
She’s incredible really.
So…unfortunately,we haven’t really been in touch over the past couple years because she’s been in school and I’ve been traveling with CTI and stuff like that. But I just heard from her a couple months ago and what she said was probably the biggest shock of my life thus far.
Apparently, one of the reasons why she had not been in touch with any of us back home is because she got caught up in the wrong crowd and eventually got pregnant and decided to have an abortion.
When I heard that my heart broke completely. I just could not fathom how someone so on fire for the Lord; so sincere in her faith; so “spiritually strong” could fall in such a devastating way. And the thought that immediately popped into my head was, “How could she be so stupid? We’re nothing alike anymore; I’m the farthest thing from her”. And the thing I felt the Lord speaking to me directly following was, “Oh really Gretchen? Remember David!”
Do you guys remember David from The Old Testament? Both 1 Samuel and Acts refer to David as a man after God’s own heart. A man appointed by God to be leader of His people. And I remembered David’s adulatory in 2 Sam. 11.
Here’s this man who defeated Goliath with a sling shot and raw faith, chosen by God to lead the entire Israelite army….half the psalms are written by him…and he has an affair! And THEN..he has the husband of the woman he had an affair with killed in order to cover up his mistake!
In remembering David, I also realized that I am NOT too far from devastation. If a man after God’s own heart can fall so far from God in a single instant…surely I can as well. Moreover…it’s not that I am “Such a good Christian” or “So close to God” that I am incapable of making decisions like my friend Emily….it’s ALL by grace that I am not in the position she’s in. The Lord has spared me my Bathsheba for the moment.
And so I began to pray for Emily, and for myself….that we would see and acknowledge the depth of our sin. Not so that we can beat ourselves up over it or spend the rest of our lives trying to do something to earn back the favor of God. But so that in our recognizing the depth of our sin, we might also recognize the depth of Christs mercy; and know all that His blood has covered over.
My encouragement to you is 2 fold, and it applies to me as well.
On one hand I want to encourage you to have mercy on people who have disappointed you, or have found themselves in the midst of terrible consequences because you are not above that.
And on the other hand I want us to look at all of the things that we have done in our life. All of the mistakes we’ve made…and remember and rejoice in the fact that Christ died for those choices; his blood is the reason that God sees a clean record instead of our iniquity.
Romans 8:1 says “There is now therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus”.