Sunday, December 10, 2006

"Mistakes Are the Privilege of the Active Person"

The above quote comes from an email from my friend, Margery K. The context of the email was yet another discussion on God's grace and its nature. I have been pondering the above, especially in connection with the life of King David and by way of comparison, with my own. Mistakes are not necessarily the same thing as sin, of course. But if you are at all an active person who is going out and doing things, chances are you will have a lot of mistakes and maybe even a lot of sins happening. But as Margery has also reminded me, "mistakes are God's little learning opportunities." I seem to be getting a lot of those lately.

I guess the reason I am pondering David's life is that he was no poster boy for a sanitized view of sainthood. He was a truly great man with some spectacular failures in his life and yet he remained a man of God. A mark of salvation is that no matter how often or how far you fall, you always rise up and persevere, though you may find yourself at Heaven's gate bloodied and beaten by life and the consequences of sin. And you will find yourself more than a conqueror.

This is a time of sifting for me. I don't know how long this sifting will last, but I have the distinct feeling that it won't be over soon. I feel a fragility of soul that I have never felt before. I sometimes think I could easily splinter into a thousand million pieces. At other times, I feel a strong core of something sustaining me that surprises me. Temptations to complete despair and hopelessness can sometimes consume me, and then the Lord sends someone or something along to show me that I am not completely forsaken and that He is keeping me and maybe even using me. Most days all I know is to put one foot in front of the other and just do the duty that is in front of me. Some days I know that I am sustained by the power of God and His love for me. On the days that I don't know that, or doubt it, He sustains me anyhow and covers my sinful doubts with His mercy.

One of the things I am noticing in the Scriptures are the contrasts that exist. Psalm 40: 12 talks about how our iniquities are more than the hairs of our heads causing the heart to fail because of the sheer magnitude of their number. But earlier in the Psalm we also read how God's mercies are more than can be numbered. Does sin abound? Grace more than abounds to cover it. There are numerous superlatives found in Scripture regarding the love and mercy of God. Ephesians tells us that God is rich in mercy, and there is an exceeding richness of grace; riches of grace, made to abound to us. God is no stingy miser when it comes to covering our sins. The bizarre thing about grace is that the more you see your need of it, and the more you receive it, the less you feel like doing the things that require your need of it in the first place. Or so I am finding. Sanctification is happening, I guess.

I don't have a graceful way of ending this post. Sorry.


Anonymous said...

Two passages come to mind. I don't know which one to share, so I'll share both.

Love you!

Job 23:10-12

10 But He knows the way that I take; when He has [tried] me, I shall come forth as gold.
11 My foot has held fast to His steps; I have kept His way and not turned aside.
12 I have not departed from the commandment of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food.

Psalm 63:1-8, 11b

1 O God, You are my God; early will I seek You; my soul thirsts for You; my flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water.
2 So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, to see Your power and Your glory.
3 Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise You.
4 Thus I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name.
5 My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness, and my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips.
6 When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches.
7 Because You have been my help, therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice.
8 My soul follows close behind You; your right hand upholds me.
11b But the mouth of those who speak lies shall be stopped.

Ian said...

The love of God is something wonderful!! Cheryl you are a gem well worth fighting for. Look what all God went through for you. It is well worth it all when you sparkle like that.

Joyce said...

Dear Cheryl,
I wish I could be there to invite you to come over for coffee and a time to talk. I think of you often, and miss chatting with you very much. As you look to the Lord for wisdom in your very difficult, complicated circumstances, He will, as you know, provide you with the guidance you need.
Love you,