Friday, April 19, 2013

Thoughts from the Produce Section

My husband and I were recently doing some grocery shopping together.  This is not a new experience.  Sadly, this is often how we spend a night out.  However, there is no one else I'd rather have by my side to shop with, as he truly is my dearest friend in life.  Though we journey the aisles together for the most part,we do, at times, take a "divide and conquer" approach during the process.  He does not leave me for long though, because I will inevitably load more in the cart than what is necessary, or allowed in the budget, without his watchful eye.  

On this night, I was hanging out in the produce department and taking much longer than the average person to pick out some fruit.  Now if you know me, this comes as no surprise because making a decision of any kind just does not come easily for me. It doesn't matter if it is picking out a banana, ordering off a menu or buying a new car.  It is a painful process.  Maybe the banana part is stretching things a bit - or maybe not.  I must confess, I do like to pretend I know what I'm doing by sniffing the end of a melon or grapefruit to check for ripeness.  It might help if I actually knew which end I was supposed to sniff to be able to tell if a piece is ripe or not...I'll have to read up on that in my free time.

In this moment of time, I was hung up on choosing perfect apples.  Given that we're not exactly in  harvesting season, I was having a difficult time.  Each apple I picked up was flawed in some manner.  The color wasn't bright enough.  It felt like it would have a "spongy" texture inside.  There were too many bruises - some that couldn't be seen but were felt.  As I was sorting through the apples and discarding most as not good enough, I was struck by the fact that we often do the same thing with people.  We withhold our love because of a person's appearance.  We keep our distance because of someone's smell.  We place judgement on someone because we heard the latest rumor about them, or even more-so if we know the truths about their past.

We all have a past - maybe some more colorful than others when we view things from our own perspective.  But in God's eyes, sin is sin and all sin is weighted equally.  This is the beauty of grace.  We have a God who looks beyond our faults and wants to cover us with His grace and lavish us with His love no matter who we are or what we've done in our lives.  Unlike a piece of fruit which will ultimately become rotten and discarded if it is left on the shelf too long, He looks at our bumps and bruises and longs and wants to restore us, give us new life and turn our life story into something beautiful...regardless of how long we've wandered before recognizing our need of him.  He's waiting with outstretched arms for us to run to him.

Perhaps you feel that the choices you've made go beyond the reach of His grace. Don't be deceived by those feelings.  They are lies that the enemy wants you to believe to keep you from walking in freedom.  God's Word is Truth and we can hold on to His promises with confidence.

"We are made right in God's sight when we trust in Jesus Christ to take away our sins.  And we all can be saved in this same way, no matter who we are or what we have done.  For all have sinned; all fall short of God's glorious standard.  Yet now God in his gracious kindness declares us not guilty.  He has done this through Christ Jesus, who has freed us by taking away our sins.  For God sent Jesus to take the punishment for our sins and to satisfy God's anger against us.  We are made right with God when we believe that Jesus shed his blood, sacrificing his life for us." - Romans 3:22-25 (NLT)

My producer, Eric Copeland of Creative Soul Records, penned a beautiful song for my EP True to You.  It is called Never Too Far and captures these thoughts on His grace so well. *

There is no road that you can go down
That He cannot see where you've gone
A desperate choice that you had to make
And yes...there are days you felt alone

But you're never too far from the eyes of Jesus
You're never too far from His love
I know that it seems too many years and mistakes
Have left you withdrawn and apart
But in the eyes of Jesus... you're never, never too far

There is a road to a truer acceptance
More than you've ever known
No righteous judge...just lasting forgiveness
For anything you may have done

You think nobody knows all the secrets and lies
Things the world could never forgive
Now you can live!

'Cause you're never too far from the eyes of Jesus
You're never too far from His love
I know that is seems too many years and mistakes
Have left you withdrawn and apart
But in the eyes of Jesus...you're never, never too far


* A download of this song is available at no cost to you other than taking the time to stop by my page on ReverbNation at www.reverbnation.com/lesliemckee.  This site can also be accessed from my home page at www.lesliemckee.com by clicking on the little square with the red star.





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