Fantastic essay this morning on Elvis (not Costello), forgiveness, music, and probably a couple of things I’ve forgotten already. Stop reading this until you’ve read that. (The Morning News website is behind a paywall, but they offer some number of free articles every month, so everyone should be able to read it.)
The killer quote is this one from an old interview with Bono.
With no one else around, his choice would always be gospel, losing and finding himself in the old spirituals. He was happiest when he was singing his way back to spiritual safety. But he didn’t stay long enough. Self-loathing was waiting back up at the house, Elvis was seen shooting at his TV screens, the Bible open beside him at St. Paul’s great ode to love, 1 Corinthians 13. Elvis clearly didn’t believe God’s grace was amazing enough. (emphasis mine)
A lot us have that problem. Twenty years ago, a young woman wrote of the struggle. First, what most of us tend to believe in our “dark nights of the soul”:
My convictions seem to fade with desperation
My hope declines with each and every tear
My sin, an anchor and this grace just an illusion
Up comes the light and finds the stains on my hands
Up comes my pride, I hide, I know He won’t understand
Because it’s deeper than deep and it’s wider than wide
But the chorus reminds us of the reality, taken from 2 Corinthians 12:
… Sometimes I forget, I forget
That His grace is sufficient for me
That it’s deeper and wider than I can conceive
His grace is sufficient for me
Our sin is not “deeper than deep” or “wider than wide,” but Jesus’ grace is. It is a daily struggle for many of us to keep that straight. To do so, we have to anchor on God’s word, that tells us so, instead of our feelings, which blow hot and cold with the wind.
If you think your sin is so special, so horribly awful that Jesus couldn’t have imagined it when He died for all of them, you are wrong. His grace is deeper than the depths of that sin, it is wider than the width of it, it is longer than the length of time you’ve struggled with it.
It is sufficient.