Usually when you hear the age old phrase “Nothing in life is free” it’s a way of saying “though they’re giving you a free smart phone they want a 2 year contract along with the exorbitant monthly fee,” or “though it’s a delicious sausage they’re going to try to make you a member of the Constitution Party.” It’s a solid principle – basically nothing in life is just given out – there is always a catch.
The cute saying that causes you to roll your eyes every time your dad says is onto something.
I remember in high school praying for the answer to a test question because I just had no clue at all when I stopped to think – would God really rescue me from not studying for a test?
I do believe God’s grace is free and you have to do nothing to earn it. Like really, nothing. Yet if you want redemption, if you want restoration, you have to go through hell to get there. I think we get fooled by stories of God’s freely given grace and God coming suddenly to make the world whole in an instant – we get to thinking that God takes care of everything. We get to thinking it comes free.
I tell my clients in drug and alcohol recovery that they intense high they got wasn’t free considering the tremendous toll it takes on the body. You don’t just get that feeling of ecstasy for nothin’.
While many Christians seek to shelter themselves from the sinfulness of the world, the only way to transform it is to march into it dead on. Similarly our personal growth comes at a cost – the death of old parts of us.
I find I need this reminder often – for some reason I expect all good and none of the bad. And that just ain’t how it works. But in some mysterious way this makes life all the more interesting and enrapturing.