The day began like any other. The awakening of the sun, little by little, until it sneaks though the mini blinds covering the windows. I followed my usual morning routine of waking up, working out and eventually indulging in my first cup of coffee. But this ordinary day felt different. My insides were not in sync with my outer appearance. An alignment of the deepest corners of my heart needed to take place to match the person I was portraying on the outside.
We have all experienced what it is like for our car’s tires to be out of alignment. When we leave the tires alone and do nothing, eventually we are facing the cost of new tires to replace the ones worn down with misuse. Our hearts also wear down when we allow misalignment to sit and fester. Those are the times we need to embrace gracious grace.
Gracious grace is accepting the gift of gratefulness for the blessings God lovingly gives us. It is taking the hurt places, hiding in our hearts, and exposing them to God’s truth, found in His Word. It is the gift of allowing God to work on us from the inside out. Gracious grace is a heart work that aligns the deepest recesses of our hidden hurts with God’s amazing grace.
How do we know when our heart is out of alignment? The same way we find out about our tires. There is a pulling to one side, the ride is not as smooth and our insides do not match the outside.
When work is required to fix something, it always comes with a cost. A simple tire alignment costs less than four new tires, but there is an adjustment with both options. When our heart needs work, it also comes at a cost. Reaching the deep crevices of hurt, unworthiness and misunderstanding requires the cost of honesty, vulnerability, acknowledgement and truth. We need to ask ourselves if we are willing to accept the cost to align our insides with our outsides.
Costs accrue and build up over time, but the outcome is beautiful when we say “yes” to freedom, certainty and grace.
Alignment of the heart needs:
An honest reckoning of who we really are and how we are portraying ourselves to other people.
This heart work costs us honesty, but is fixed by friends or family who speak truth into our lives, by seeking God’s Word, and accepting His grace.
A vulnerable unveiling of the deepest, darkest corners of our heart.
This heart work costs us vulnerability and is fixed by the love of others, the willingness for others to stand by us even when we are still learning who we are and knowing that unconditional love comes from our Savior.
A chance to grasp the truth of how God wired us.
This heart work needs time to fully develop and understand that God created us for a beautiful purpose. It requires loving ourselves even on the days that are hard and seeking God in the blessings as well as the challenges.
The Gospel of Luke teaches us the cost of being a follower of Jesus. Luke spells out that it starts with knowing the cost so we can build a strong life honoring and serving God.
And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple. But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it? Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before running out of money, and then everyone would laugh at you.” (Luke 14:27-29)
The cost of following Jesus is worth it. The cost of aligning our heart with God’s truth is worth it. The cost of honesty and vulnerability needed to grow as a child of God leads us to gracious grace – God’s blessings poured out in abundance as we seek His truth.
What are you willing to pay to align your inner heart secrets with God’s gracious grace?