When Grace Breaks Your Legs

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When Grace Breaks Your Legs

By Mike Adams

I had made theology my pursuit. My goal. My aim. My identity. And I was pretty good at it too. I could go toe to toe with the best and I was proud of that. Don’t get me wrong. Good theology is necessary. But theology apart from a heart captured by the gospel is reduced to dangerous information. It’s ammunition to win an argument. It’s fodder for a blog. It’s food for one’s pride. Theology not rooted in grace and removed from the gospel can make us hard, indifferent, proud, cold, and right all the time.

Something else that became my identity was my ministry. In almost 40 years in the faith, I had been on the pastoral team of several different churches and my identity was wrapped up in being a pastor. I became proud of the fact that I was a pastor. Proud to be a servant. Go figure! Then one day, the structure I had built my idols on began to collapse. The building fell with me still in it and everything crumbled in the ashes. Destroyed. Brought to nothing. And all I could do was watch it tumble. I didn’t understand. I didn’t know what was going on, but I could feel my heart changing.

That collapse was almost 5 years ago. I see more clearly now what I couldn’t see then. The Holy Spirit was being merciful to me as He began to show me what had slowly happened to me over the years; who I had become. It was an intervention. A badly needed rescue. I had become hard, indifferent, proud, cold, and… right all the time. My identity was wrapped up in me and my theology and ministry, not Jesus. Grace and the gospel had become theological categories to be mastered, taught, and filed away. My spiritual growth and progress in the faith (whatever that means!) was independent of Jesus and the center of my world. I only gave Him lip service. My assurance was up and down like a roller coaster ride because my eyes were fixed on my performance and my own spiritual navel.

Sometimes God graciously breaks us and once we’re immobilized, He begins His gentle work of rebuilding, restoring, and restoration. He rebuilds and renews our hearts with His unending grace. He takes damaged goods and makes all things new. He takes us in directions we never saw coming and would never have imagined. But most of all, He keeps loving us! Even in our foolishness He is full of rich mercy and grace.

Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice. (Psalm 51:8 ESV)

Oh…. Happy Thanksgiving!

Mike Adams

We are on a journey, and one thing we’ve discovered along the way is that while there are many on this same journey, we don’t all look the same, think the same, do the same things, or act the same way. We’re a bunch of broken ragamuffins. That’s the beauty of Christ’s church.

We’re Mike and Susan Adams. We’re broken but beloved. We became Christians in 1973 at the same place, but we didn’t know each other yet. We met in March of 1974 and we were married in July of that same year. Mike was 19 and Susan was 17.

We have 3 (and 5 grandchildren so far!). Susan had 4 miscarriages along the way, so we really have 7 kids, but we’ve yet to meet 4 of them. As new parents, we set out with noble intentions to raise our kids so much better than we were raised. Perhaps we succeeded in a couple of small ways, but guess what; Our kids are sinners too and they need Jesus just like their parents. Our failures in parenting far outweigh our successes. The good news is that God is so big that none of this depends on us. He is full of mercy and quick to forgive.

We don’t have our act together and that’s not even a goal that’s within our reach. But we know Jesus and the good news is that Jesus came and died for messy broken people just like us because messy broken people are all that there are!

Follow our blogs at http://chiefsinner.org/ and visit our podcast page called The Chief Sinner Podcast or on iTunes too.

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