Saturday, July 31, 2010

Understanding I Don't Understand

What can take my sin away? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
Nothing I do has any power to save me, raise me or earn me the Father's love. No sacrifice or act of self-denial will make me appear more beautiful to the One who sits on the throne of Justice.

I know. But I am just beginning to understand how I don't understand.

Is righteousness really credited to my account in the instant I repent? But I haven't had anytime to show God I'm going to do better. I haven't had time to replace my squandered hour with a hour of Bible study.
Grace. Unearned. Undeserved.

A child of the world who has expended the best years of life for self.
A child of faith who has expended the best years of life in self-denying service.
Grace touches both and they immediately stand on level ground before the cross. Unfair. Beautiful.

If I give up every dream I have held precious, if I go to the darkest parts of the earth, if I fast, pray and meditate...won't God view me with greater love? won't my salvation be more secure?

God loved me incomprehensibly before I existed. Heavens love is unending. How can such love be increase by any earthly deed? Impossible.

My salvation - full and free - was secured for me when Jesus cried "it is finished". It is given to me when I fall before Him empty handed, confess and believe. How can I make such a gift more complete? Impossible.

I will still give up my earthly dreams. I will still go to the darkest parts of the earth. I will still fast, pray and meditate but no merit it earned by it.
Because of the wonder of grace we don't live in a world with good and bad karma points. We don't live in a world where monastic self-torture purges the soul. No amount of good deeds could ever tip any such imagined scales in our favor.

He who knew no sin became sin that we who were sinners might become righteous.

By beholding grace I am changed. I want to spend more time thinking about this grace I don't understand.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Happy Moments

Rain pouring down. Mud squishing between my toes and over my ankle as I walk down long rows of corn. The rain is dripping off my nose as I lug my heavy bucket of corn toward the wagon. I start humming "Showers of Blessings".

Its a happy moment.

Standing precariously in the back of a truck. Green rolling fields flash by on either side. The wind is cool and I notice the thunderclouds that are giving us the welcome shade. Thanks to our driver the mud holes and gravel road is that much more exciting.

Its a happy moment.

Bent over tomato plants. Its been a long day and evening is coming on. I slowly stand up and lean a little farther back than needed just to un-kink my back. The sun is low on the horizon. Its orangy light is catching the dust stirred up by a passing truck. I take a look around at the horse pasture, the pond, the silos, and fields of corn.

Happy moments. There have been so many of them. I can't even begin to describe them all.