Earlier this year, my husband and I were given a beautiful hand-knitted baby blanket. It was crafted with loving care by an elderly arthritic woman, and it had taken her over 90 hours to complete it. The blanket was not for our baby, but was for us to give to someone in need. This woman had heard that my husband works with inner-city youth, and had correctly assumed that he has contact with pregnant teenagers. It was such a gorgeous blanket that I secretly wished we had one that lovely for our daughter. Somewhat reluctantly, I sent my husband off to work the following day with the blanket in tow.
When he returned that evening, I asked if he was able to find a new home for the blanket. My husband replied that he had given it to the director of the teen parenting resource program, who would ensure the blanket got to a young girl in need. My heart immediately wanted to know how I could find out exactly who received it. Why? I wanted to make sure it went to someone who was deserving of it, someone who would cherish it the way I would, someone who intended to care for her baby and nurture him/her in the way I deemed “right”.
After I confessed and repented of my judgment, pride, and partiality (James 2:9 says “If you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors”), I realized that in my mind, no one deserved such a precious gift.
Romans 3:23 says “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Each of us was undeserving of the precious gift that was given to us- Jesus Christ. We are “justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:24). I was no more deserving of God’s mercy through the blood shed on the cross than anyone! As much as the sin in my heart told me the blanket should rightly go to someone commendable, that isn’t the way God saw His people when He sent His only Son to die on our behalf. There is nothing we can do to earn God’s grace- it is given to us! “God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ- by grace you have been saved” (Ephesians 2:4-5).
The sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross wasn’t based on our actions, our works or “good deeds”- it was made because of God’s great love for us. We didn’t earn the right to be called daughters of the Most High God- it was given freely.
I, for one, am grateful I didn’t have to clean up my act before Jesus called me to surrender my life to Him. My hope is that the baby blanket went to a girl who will one day understand God’s grace- and maybe sense the unconditional love that someone had to give up something so precious for her.