Day 3

Permission Granted

from the Holding Tight to Permanent reading plan

Hosea 2:14-23, 2 Corinthians 1:19-22

BY Amanda Bible Williams

Text: Hosea 2:14-23, 2 Corinthians 1:19-22

I’ve been a believer in Jesus since I was five years old.

We were standing toward the front of our United Methodist chapel, singing from a hymnbook in the pews, my mom and my brother and me. I don’t remember what preceded the moment, but I remember feeling sure that Jesus was real. And I remember feeling sure that I wanted to serve Him. So I closed my eyes and held out my hands, palms up, like I was holding a serving tray. It was exhilarating.

This was my version of Moses’ “Here I am” (Exod. 3:4). This was childlike faith in its uncomplicated beauty.

As I grew, my faith grew too. We attended church regularly, and I was as involved as I could be. I went to Sunday school and Bible studies and summer youth trips. I read the Bible outside of church too. I began to journal my prayers. But even as I became more sure of who God was, I became less sure of who I was in relation to Him. The little girl who stood unabashedly before God, eager hands ready to serve, became a teenager who hid like Mother Eve beneath fig leaves of shame.

It was no longer Moses’ “Here I am” that I echoed in my heart. It was also his disbelief: “Who am I that I should go?” Or, as was more accurate to my line of thinking at the time: who am I that I am worth loving?

The fullness of the gospel had saved me, but I only seemed to remember half of it.

I knew I needed to be forgiven, but I couldn’t believe I was.

I knew God’s love was deep, but I thought my sin was deeper.

I knew Christ accepted me, but I didn’t imagine He’d accepted all of me.

I was a work in process, and I assumed the work was mine to complete. I was a well-intentioned mess, and I thought the mess was mine to clean up.

But guess what? That wasn’t Truth. God never said I have to clean myself up before I come to Him, to get it right before I trust in Him. He never said I could not or would not be a work in process. Search for these commands in the Bible, and you will come up short.

In fact, God says the opposite.

The Bible is full of in-process people, those whom Christ pursued and loved exactly as they were, well-intentioned messes like me. Like you. If we need permission to be in process, we can look to Scripture.

I am the woman at the well, taken aback that this man would dare to be seen with me.
I am Zaccheus, standing at a distance and hoping to catch a glimpse of the Messiah.
I am Peter, promising I would never deny Him and then turning around to do exactly that.
I am Peter, weeping when I meet Jesus’ eyes and realize that I have failed and failed big, again.
I am Martha, running around trying to guarantee my worth and everyone else’s happiness.
I am Mary, collapsing at His feet because I am so desperate for His presence.
I am the adulterous woman, standing guilty for all the world to see.
I am the bleeding woman, utterly incapable of healing what ails me.
I am a mess, in process, just like all of them. Looking through its pages, I see pieces of me all through God’s Book.

In God’s Word I’m reminded that I don’t secure my standing before Him by any guarantees I make, or even those I manage to keep. I am secure because He holds me in the safety of His covenant, the same covenant He has kept for generations past and will keep for generations to come.

The above is an excerpt from Chapter 3 of the book She Reads Truth: Holding Tight to Permanent in a World That’s Passing Away, written by Raechel Myers and Amanda Bible Williams. Find She Reads Truth, the book, on Amazon or anywhere books are sold.SRT-Book16-instagram3s

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Post Comments (223)

223 thoughts on "Permission Granted"

  1. Rachel BrookeMcMath says:

    I just fell in love with the phrase “well-intentioned mess.” How powerful a reminder that that is exactly how God’s glory can be seen. Nothing we can do can match Him. And He comes down to meet us.

  2. Jessica Nichols says:

    So thankful he doesn’t give up on us!

  3. joanna miller says:

    everyone is in a process. what an amazing lord; we don’t have to be perfect to come to him! when we are at our lowest he calls us to him. i love my lord so much!!!

  4. Tiona Miller says:

    God was faithful even when I was faithless. Yet I sometimes try to earn His love. I’m so grateful that I get to serve such an amazing God! From now on I won’t let shame keep me from the arms of God! I will continue to hold to Him and to His beautiful teachings in Scripture!

  5. Irina Shampay says:

    Thank you Jesus. Amen to your way and your love.

  6. Molly Gilbane says:

    This message really hit home for me. As a life-long perfectionist— I often feel “not good enough” or “not ready” to come before God just as I am. What a lovely reminder that He loves us unconditionally— despite our faults. Despite being “works in progress.” He is always there, ready to embrace us in our current condition and hold our hands through any storm.

    1. Liz Rice says:

      So true!

  7. Toni Irwin says:

    “I was a work in progress, and I was assured that the work was mine to complete”… I really felt that word, it spoke to me. Yes God wants to see us put in work to build a relationship with him and to be a better people but he does not leave the work to us. In fact I am now assured that he will take on our heavy loads and leave us with the light work to complete. Just a reminder that we are never alone, our battles are his battles just as our victories are his as well. He truly shows us the definition of Love! Thank you God, and thank you Jesus!❤️

    1. Molly Gilbane says:

      Beautifully said!

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