Being born and raised in Mississippi, I was destined to become a fan of the Blues. The Blues genre is legendary for narrating the heartbreaking, love seeking, fun loving tales of everyday people. One of my favorite Blues songs was made popular by the late Little Milton, entitled “Grits Ain’t Groceries”. The chorus is one you won’t soon forget, “If I don’t love you Baby, grits ain’t groceries, eggs ain’t poultry, and Mona Lisa was a man.” I chuckle to myself every time that tune pops into my head. Can you imagine being so devoted to someone that the magnitude of your love can actually change reality as you know it? Now, while many never would have called Little Milton an evangelist of sorts, there is a message in his words.
Just as Little Milton and countless others have longed to convince the object of their affection how vast their love is, God is no different. In the beginning, when God spoke the universe and everything in it into existence, He then determined, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground. So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them,” (Gen. 1:26-28a). We were on God’s heart from the very start. Even then He wanted to bless us and ensure we had all we ever needed. Even when man progressed and consistently turned his back on God, even when God knew His chosen people were making idol gods while He spoke to Moses in private, He still declared, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to the thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion, and sin,” (Exodus 34:6-7a). Still today, we seem to have made it a habit to abandon God’s ways for our own. We continue to make bad decision after bad decision. But just as Little Milton swore his love in his lyrics, “With a toothpick in my hand I’d dig a ten foot ditch. I’d run all through the jungle fighting off lions with a switch because you know I love you!” God wholeheartedly declares His love just as emphatically. The Apostle Paul recorded it like this, “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8).
The Almighty could have easily dug a ten foot ditch or resolved to battle lions on our behalf. However, neither of those things could save our souls. In lieu of a toothpick or a switch, God decided to use a tree and His one and only Son as the way into our hearts. After about three or four minutes, “Grits Ain’t Groceries” comes to an end and we never know if Little Milton’s Crush ever returned his affection. But thank God, His love song recorded on Calvary is still playing. The ultimate sacrifice of Jesus closed the gap between God and man so we never have to wonder how much He loves us. Ironically, we were made clean because of blood. We gained life in death. He really does put our sins in the forgotten sea. He really doesn’t care how many folks said you were a failure. He doesn’t consider where you came from to be a hindrance. He doesn’t count all your faults as a point for condemnation. He only sees what He made you to be. He ignores those who said you were a lost cause. He will accept mustard seed sized faith. Today, God’s arms are still wide open. All you have to do is say yes to His love and watch Him change your reality.