This whole idea of the Gospel being immensely important really struck me a couple months into my very new marriage. I spent so long (almost my whole life) dreaming of my wedding day, through a half-decade of long distance dating, that I guess I expected I would be blissfully happy from there on out.
I hadn’t stopped my dreaming for more than a fraction of a second to consider how deeply I would miss my family and friends and beloved mountains and small-town hippie Colorado culture.
I went from being beloved to being a stranger.
And my wonderful husband, as deeply as he loves me, as tenderly and faithfully, couldn’t replace all that.
So I spent the first summer of our marriage cursing the humidity and New York speed and the loneliness. There were days that I was just sad, from the moment I woke up until I went back to bed that night.
Not exactly the blissful honeymooner stage I’d been dreaming of…
And then, I read this beautiful little book called 1000 Gifts and it changed everything.
I was forcefully reminded that life is not a right or a privilege but a gift – freely, abundantly and extravagantly given.
When set across the backdrop of the Cross, all of life is excess. Because, remember the Gospel? It says we are sinners, deserving of nothing. Sinners, and the Lord of Heaven’s Armies squeezed himself into rags of flesh and delighted in us and danced over us with singing (!). And died for us and calls us righteous.
Sinners, and we are saved. Sinners, the final question answered.
We’ve already been given the riches of the inheritance of the Kingdom.
When I was convinced of this, suddenly married life in New York, humidity, the job I had – everything – became a blessing. Because I understood what it means to live not even deserving the next breath filling my lungs.
This is the Gospel. I am a sinner, and my lungs fill and my heart beats.
This is the Gospel. I am a sinner, and I am loved and give love. I have a home, a bed and food. I have friends, family, clothes.
This is the Gospel! That life is excessive blessing, because I deserved to be struck down on August 2, 1989, the moment my lungs first drew breath.
This is the Gospel. That we find deep joy because all is mercy and grace and riches.
This is the Gospel. That we live fully content here and now because we understand the gifts we are given with every beat of our heart and every breath of our lungs.