I prefer a window seat when I fly, one back from the wing for an unobstructed view. Leaning my forehead against the rectangular window, I can see the miniature scenes below becoming smaller and smaller as the plane gains altitude. Aeronautics is a science, I know, but there is a mysticism to the vast altitudes a plane can reach. It is the visual picture I imagine when reading Ephesians 2:4 & 5.
“But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions --- it is by grace you have been saved.”
These have become my life verses because I see encapsulated in them the immeasurable reach of God in saving a wretch like me. God “made me alive with Christ even when I was dead in transgressions.” Is there any span greater than this? I was an enemy of God, wallowing in sin with no thought of my Creator, yet He reached down to pick me out of the muck of a broken world and raised me up to sit beside Christ in the highest heaven. It makes me dizzy to imagine being transported such an immense distance!
There are times when my repeated, stumbling transgressions overwhelm me with sadness and make me long for perfection. Who am I to receive God’s grace? If I have these thoughts as a forgiven child of God, how much farther did He have to reach when I was buried under mountains of sin, a dark, lifeless soul? I did not even know I needed a Savior. But God did. And He intervened, “because of His great love with which He loved me,” says one scripture version. He loved me even when I was terribly unlovable because His mercy is so rich, immense and generous that it lifted me up on a swelling wave of love to seat me next to Jesus in heaven.
“Measure how high heaven is above the earth; God’s wide, loving, kind heart is greater for those who revere Him. You see, God takes all our crimes --- our seemingly inexhaustible sins --- and removes them. As far as the east is from the west, He removes them from us.” (Ps. 103:11-12 The Voice)
God’s mercy is an unknowable reckoning. It isn’t just benevolence or leniency but an actual removal of our sins onto His Son, Jesus, the perfect sin offering. Mercy means we do not get the punishment we deserve. Grace means we do get the salvation we do not deserve. This makes my head spin if I try to work it through my own finite mind. Though I cannot know how it happens, I am grateful to accept by faith the gift of His grace.
These verses from Ephesians resonate in the back of my mind when I am writing about the Christian journey. They motivate me to do my best to convey the immensity of who God is and what He has done in a way that will touch souls who long for God. The distance between what I write and the incomprehensible being of God is as far as the east is from the west, yet I will always reach for the next word to give a small glimpse of His wonder.
Attempting to figure out what keeps a multi-ton metal airplane full of people and luggage in the air will bring me to the end of my knowledge quickly. So I choose to sit back and enjoy the journey, admiring the view of God’s beautiful creation from 35,000 feet, trusting the aeronautical engineers and commercial pilots know what they are doing.
The reason I can do the same with God’s perfect plan of salvation is because I trust the Omnipotent Designer, "whose love knows no limit, whose grace has no measure, His power no boundary known unto men." (excerpt from hymn, He Giveth More Grace, by Annie Johnson Flint)
More of my devotionals can be read on my blog https://scriptordeus.wordpress.com