Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
I don’t know about you, but I can’t ever read past this verse. It stops me in my tracks every time. I get to that point in the page and my jaw dust drops, I shake my head, and I try one more time to wrap my mind around it.
In the movie Anna and the King, there’s a scene where the king is sitting on his throne, granting audience to his subjects. There are rules and regulations to be obeyed in the throne room. For example, no one’s head is permitted to be higher than the king’s. Disobedience to these rules could result in execution, so they are followed faithfully by the subjects kneeling at the king’s feet.
Then, in the middle of all the pomp and circumstance, the king’s little daughter comes running in, completely heedless of the rituals and expectations. She rushes past all the bowing and the fawning, climbs right up the throne’s steps, and whispers in her daddy’s ear. She needs her daddy and knows that as his favorite, as his princess, she can approach him boldly. Sure enough, he sweeps her up in his arms and leaves everything to solve her problem.
I love this scene. It’s a beautiful picture of the grace God has extended to each of us. We are His favorite ones and He has allowed us the privilege of unrestricted access to Him. Whenever we need our Daddy, we can go to Him.
As I read this verse and this scene flashed through my mind, I was literally brought to my knees by the thought of how unworthy I am. I was simply awed that He should show me grace.
Then, as is often helpful to do, I took myself out of the equation and rethought it:
That He should show grace.
It blows my mind. See, we were created to glorify God; we exist to exalt Him. But He doesn’t need to show mercy to show His greatness. He didn’t even have to give us a concept of mercy.
Mercy requires holiness because there has to be a standard, a comparison to mercy. But holiness doesn’t require mercy.
In the movie, the king was considered great simply because he was the king. He had been born to rule the people and their respect and reverence for him was part of his birthright.
As creator of the universe, God is glorious because He is God, not because He is merciful (though His mercy certainly is glorious). He could have chosen to bring us to our knees before Him out of fear and awe alone.
Instead, He has chosen to reveal His glory in our lives through kindness. He uses mercy and grace to show His greatness when He could just use might and wrath.
Why would He do that? Why would He even choose to create love and mercy and grace?
And how could I possibly use those gifts, use that privilege, to enter into His courts with anything other than thanksgiving?
I shudder to think of all the times I’ve come before Him with a selfish and greedy heart, self-justified and set on having my way, stomping my foot at Him as if He owed me. Where did I ever find the gall to behave like that?
And still, He chooses to glorify Himself in my life, to show Himself kind and faithful in my circumstances.
I don’t know why. I can’t even make it to the why, not when I’m so enamored by the fact that He does.
As I said, the realization that God’s love for me is His choice, not my right, brought me to my knees. Then that same love pulled me into His lap.
I know there will still be days when I bring complaints and arguments before my King instead of the praise He’s due. But by His grace, I pray to be more mindful in the future of what an unfathomable honor it is to come boldly before His throne.