I will be reading through Deborah Evans's book Six Qualities of Women of Character and sharing it and my own thoughts with you.
Deborah talks about these six qualities as "graces." Not grace -- that trait of God that gives us what we do not deserve. But "graces" --helps given to us by the Holy Spirit.
The first one she discusses is Brokenness, and I guess there is good reason why. Without brokenness, the rest cannot and will not happen at all. She shares examples of two of her friends. The second friend is feeling burned out, realizing that she has too long relied upon her own strength and not on God. This realization is going to allow her to draw nearer to God, to admit she cannot continue without Him.
But the first example is the one that resonates with me: it is the story of a woman who has sinned grievously by having an affair. I trust Deborah when she says this friend is a believer. I know that believers fall into serious sin, and I know that we will only come out of it, like a drowning man out of the lake, when we are broken before God and recognize our sin. Not only that it has occurred but admitting and understanding how much it hurts God.
And yet, the word "brokenness," here used to describe our contrition, brings to my mind the word used in another sense: "Here is My body, broken for you." Christ, too, was broken, on my behalf. On your behalf.
I am also thinking of the Casting Crown's song, "Glorious Day," actually an old hymn.
Living He loved me,
Dying He saved me,
Buried He carried my sin far away,
Rising He justified, freely forever,
One day He's coming, oh glorious day!
Today I am blessed by that line "justified, freely forever" -- forever. FOREVER! The sin that still so easily entangles me has already been taken care of.
Oh, Lord, I thank you for your forgiveness, given at no cost to me, but at such a high price to you and your Son. Thank you that every sin, past and present and future, is already washed clean. Help me to live in that truth, and to rest in you today. Amen