Thursday, November 20, 2014

When the Gospel Seems Too Good To Be True

“It’s like it’s too good to be true or too scary to be real.”

A friend and I were sitting in my family room drinking tea, talking about how God can transform a life, and this is what she said.

I thought about it for a second, then nodded my head and agreed with her. Sometimes the thought of God reaching down into my mess seems too good to be true. At other times, the thought of God actually seeing the mess that I am is too scary to be real.

How could He actually do that? Why would He even want to deal with me when I’ve let him down in so many ways?

The gospel does sometimes feel too good to be true. Not in the literal sense—I believe that the gospel is indeed true—but in the figurative way we use that phrase.

When we say something is “too good to be true” we don’t mean that it’s actually untrue, but that we just can’t believe something that great would happen to us.

The first time (well, every time, actually) I set foot in England, I felt like it was “too good to be true.”

Every time I held my own newborn baby I felt like it was “too good to be true.”

Some days, when we’re clicking on all cylinders and my husband looks at me with love in his eyes, I feel like it’s “too good to be true.”

But these things are real. These things have happened to me. They aren’t “untrue.” They just feel too good to be true.

And that’s when I resoundingly agreed with my friend.

The gospel IS too good to be true. The fact that God allowed his only son to leave heaven to come to earth to live among sinful human beings only to be tortured, beaten, and crucified is beyond my comprehension. That’s a love that is “too good to be true.”

And too scary to be real? Yeah, I get that one too.

The power that raised Jesus from the dead? Pretty awesome power. Power, which, if we really understood it, would make us fall on our knees, overcome.

The kind of power that sees into our very souls and still loves us and wants a relationship with us? That’s kind of scary too, when you think about it.

The kind of power that can heal our diseases and has authority over demons? Wow. Amazing, yes, and scary.

Still, it’s real. He’s real. I believe it because I see it every day. I see it when the sun comes up in the morning. I see it when my family gathers around the table. I see it when I walk my dog through the park nearby.

I see it when He takes hold of the life of someone who thought she was beyond hope, and He brings hope once again.

Of course, my mind immediately went to The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe:

“Aslan is a lion- the Lion, the great Lion." "Ooh" said Susan. "I'd thought he was a man. Is he-quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion"..."Safe?" said Mr Beaver ..."Who said anything about safe? 'Course he isn't safe. But he's good. He's the King, I tell you.” 

“Too good to be true and too scary to be real.”

I get it. It’s called Awe. Amazement. Wonder. These are just the things that the gospel should make us feel.


  1. What a beautiful post Shelly. Thank you so much for sharing this today. Yes, if we could just really and truly grasp the awesomeness of God, and His love for us we would be overwhelmed. "Will I stand in Your presence, or to my knees will I fall, will I sing Hallelujah, will I be able to speak at all?" What a statement. Talk about TRUTH!! Thankful to be a daughter of the King. And thankful that He loves me in spite of all my failures. All who call Him Savior are blessed beyond what we can comprehend until we stand in His presence. Thank you Jesus!!

  2. Yes, ma'am. I'm either shaking my head in wonder or trembling in my boots--or both.

    A beautiful post, Shelly. Beautiful.

  3. This is so true and beautiful, Shelly. And reminds me that, as a [basically] lifelong believer, I need more awe in my view of God!