It was in church two weeks ago when it hit home. (Again.) No matter what the wakeup time, something (or some little person) occasionally seems to hinder us starting the half-hour journey early enough. We’d hurried in a few minutes late, plonked down on an empty row, and I was busy trying to simultaneously sing and worship and make sure the Tank was still with us and not wandering off.
At the end of a time of worship where I felt mostly distracted, and guilty for being distracted, the Pastor reminded us that Jesus simply says, “Come.”
Now if you’re anything like me, which I hope for your sake, you’re not, you sometimes feel like you’re just not good enough to just come. I think about all the things I haven’t done — all the places where I’ve fallen short, and they form a collective whisper in the back of my mind. The more haven’ts there are, the louder it gets, until there’s a resounding shout:
You’ve got to get it together before you can get to Jesus!
I’ve been tired — especially being pregnant — I haven’t been getting up early in the morning to read the Word. I haven’t been spending the time I think I should be spending in prayer. I didn’t take the opportunity to show love in this or that situation. I was worn out after a week of hospitality and didn’t accomplish these things on the list which I think are important and make me good enough to stand before God.
And those words from a Pastor with a microphone were the tip of an iceberg of truth that a gentle God-voice kept whispering to my heart, sure and steady, for perhaps another week or so — long enough for me to believe it:
You’ll never really get it all together! Just get to Jesus!
Jesus said Come. Come to Me, all you weary and heavy-laden. Come to Me, let Me give you rest. And none of those verses about coming were followed by a list of haven’t's and didn’t's which would disqualify a person from being allowed to just come.
And for that matter — I can approach the throne of God, however and whenever, but never because of what I have done or what I did do. This, friends, is why Grace is so Amazing. I can approach the throne of God because when He looks at me, He sees Jesus. The things I’ve done and the things I’ve left undone, my should’ve’s and my shouldn’t'of’s… they are all covered by the One who gave His life for me. I wear His righteousness to approach the throne. Like the beautiful words of an old hymn, this truth sings to my soul:
Because the sinless Savior died,
My sinful soul is counted free.
For God the just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me.*
Can I get a hallelujah? Is that not an absolutely glorious piece of good news to start your day, your week, or even the rest of your life with?
You don’t have to have it all together to meet with Jesus! Even if you’ve been feeling far away, if you’ve been struggling to walk out what you believe, even if for a season you’ve been questioning His truth — Jesus says Come. Come, come, come.
He loves you. He wants to meet with you. He has a plan for you.
Today, tomorrow, the day after — the invitation still stands.
*Before the Throne of God Above, words by Charitie L. Bancroft, 1863.