“Yet even now,” declares the LORD, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.” (Joel 2:12, ESV)
“Yet even now.” I want you to hear those words. Close your eyes. Speak those words out loud. Do it right now! Set your phone or computer aside. Hear them!
What do you hear God saying? What do these words mean to you?
Many people think they are beyond the point of redemption. They think they are too far gone. They believe they are:
- Too broken
- Too sick
- Too addicted
- Too much in debt
- Too immoral
- Too depressed
- Too busy
- Too stressed
- Too old
- Too young
- Too conflicted
- Too unlearned
- Too unpopular
How many think they are beyond hope? How many are convinced they are a victim of their circumstances and past choices? Maybe you feel that your life is out of control and there is nothing that can be done. All there is left to do is hold on and do what you can do to survive.
But hear what God is saying: “Yet even now!”
You are never beyond hope. You are never so far away that God’s grace cannot reach. There is no situation that is beyond God’s ability to redeem. It may require a miracle, but God is in the business of miracles.
All of us eventually come to a point where we become well aware of our limitations. We realize that we can’t. But this is time to know that God can. God always can. This is especially true when we can’t.
Today, we receive ashes upon our foreheads. The ashes are a reminder of our mortality and helplessness. They call us to faith to know that God can help us even now, more than ever.
Ash Wednesday teaches us that brokenness is a gift. Our brokenness turns us from the prideful thinking that we can help ourselves. It makes us turn to God rather than thinking we can fix ourselves without him. Our brokenness reminds us that God is the only one that ever could help us. And he still does. Even now!