"Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me....
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see..."
This is one of the most recognized songs in the English speaking Christian world. These lyrics, which were written by John Newton in 1779, describe his journey through life's ups and downs. His early years were filled with bad choices and a horrible attitude to match. As a sailor, he was noted as the most profane sailor his captain had ever met! His insubordination later caused him to desert the Royal Navy, for which he was punished, and at one point, almost caused him to starve to death due to being locked up like the slaves the ship was carrying. It wasn't until a series of life threatening events confronted him that he began to rethink his position towards God. In one instance, while at sea, an amazingly violent storm caught and rocked the ship for days. After trying everything else, he decided to call out to God. Due to His mercy, John Newton was able to survive. Most of us, at some point in our lives, have had these "life encounters". They may not have been while sailing the ocean but it could have been while driving a car or walking down the street.
In these lyrics lie a simple and precious truth. It is that none of us are perfect or sinless. When you go through your day and see people that seem to "have it together", you have to understand that they have fallen short of God's expectation also. We all start out in the "same boat" but some realize they were "blind" and decide they want to "see". The great thing is you can confess your sin, ask the Lord for forgiveness and move on. This amazing grace is God's unmerited (unearned) favor and mercy. Even when you've lived a life that is so far from God's expectations that you hate to acknowledge it, your heartfelt confession to Him will cause Him to forgive you! Understand that He is the only One who can forgive sins, so just ask Him. Once you do, you don't have to go through each hour of every day feeling guilty. You can enjoy life without being loaded down with guilt!
Countless people over the generations have come to the realization that the Lord really does care and that living a life for Him makes them so much happier. Will you be one of them?