Last night I was driving back to Virginia from visiting my family for Thanksgiving, and out of the blue, God’s grace hit me. It made me tear up and smile all at the same time. I’ve heard about it a million times, and I’ve been trying to force myself to accept it, but yesterday it just happened.I wasn’t even trying, I wasn’t even really looking for it, but there it was.
There is a song by John Mark McMillan called Sins are Stones. I’ve heard it probably 15 times, and I’ve sang along with it, but yesterday I took the time to actually listen to the words. McMillan is a master of imagery, in my humble opinion, and in this song it’s pretty evident that he’s a lyrical genius, “All our sins are stones in the bottom of your oceans. And all our filthy stains have been washed away.” As soon as I heard these words, I just got this picture in my mind of God taking all of my sins, my lust and greed and jealousy, and He looks at them one by one. Then He takes each of them and ties them to giant rocks and puts them in a boat. He gets in the boat with them and sails out to the middle of the ocean and one by one He drops them in and watches as they sink below the waves, down to the depths of the ocean floor, never to be seen again, and suddenly it feels like I have new life. I feel lighter… more free.
I had been sitting in my car, driving the back roads in condemnation mode, and when I least expected it, God’s grace and love filled my lungs. Am I a sinner? Yes! Am I going to continue to fall short? Yes! But the beauty of it is that even when I stumble and fall, God is taking my sin, tying it to a stone, and throwing it in the ocean. He is washing away all the filthy stains that my sins cause. Not that I now have license to go and sin, but instead when I do, I will not be overwhelmed and crippled by guilt, I can accept God’s grace and forgiveness. I still strive for righteousness, but when my humanity overwhelms me and I fail, God covers me in His love and not only forgives me but He erases the sins of my past from His memory. I am free. “By the blood of a son, I have overcome the grave.”