YOU HAVE FURRY ARMS.
Now imagine someone putting 36.83 band-aids on your arms and then ripping them all off at once. You are still a person. But you are missing some arm hair and are in a fair amount of pain. Now you understand in the slightest way why God said not to have sex with other people before you get married to that one person He wants you to unite with. You may be scratching your head right now. Let me extrapolate. When you have sex with someone, you unite with that person for a brief moment. No matter how “meaningless” or “casual” that encounter may have been, you are now screwed up in the head. You have just given a piece of yourself to that person. And you have taken a piece from them. It may not be apparent to you then, or even in a short time after that… but at some point you will realize that moment has messed you up. You now have an attachment to this person. You have shared something amazingly intimate with this person. It’s something you can never undo, something you can never get back. Perhaps you date this person for a while and enter a relationship with them. Let’s say it’s even a good one, but for some reason, at some point the relationship ends. You are in agony. And when that agony begins to subside and you find yourself moving on, you realize that you are still missing a piece of you and even if that person who is no longer in your life wanted to give it back, they cannot. You have this invisible line drawn to them. The line could be small or it could be rather large. You are damaged.
Were I to stop writing now, you would probably be left rather depressed. If I stopped writing now, I would be rather depressed. See, this damage can spread and manifest in so many ways. It can become like a cancer- and it will slowly eat away at you until you are a rotted out carcass of a person. I only know one answer. That piece of you is gone forever, but the space where that piece was can be filled. Now is the part where either your heartbeat quickens in desperate anticipation… or your eyes roll back in your head and you slump, knowing what’s coming next. There is a Sovereign and Holy God, who before time created the universe and time itself. To say that is hard to wrap your brain around is beyond understatement. But, let’s not focus on that part. This being decided to create mankind and when mankind was in the height of its rebellion—He sent a Savior—His one and only Son. It was God himself, manifest in human flesh. I think you know this story. The Holy God of all creation loves you beyond your own understanding. Why? I couldn’t tell you. I just know that He does and every single minute you breathe He wants to lavish His love upon you. That pain will seemingly never go away. You think it’s gone and then you see a picture or hear a word or song or you smell something or simply out of no where- you are reminded of that person. This little arrow pierces you and the pain is very live and very real. You could be anywhere and any measure of time may have passed… but the pain is there. You may be in love with another person and very happy. That pain doesn’t care. You are still missing that piece of you. It has to be atoned for. The empty space must be filled. You may try to fill it with things of your own accord. Those misshapen pieces will fall out. Eventually, the cancer will spread. I beckon you- fall upon the capstone. Let yourself broken to pieces. All those pieces or lack of pieces make up who you are. You can never fill those gaps by yourself. Fall into the arms of the only One that knows exactly what you need. Fall into the hands of He who knows how to make you whole. Listen to my words! Dismiss them not as rhetoric. Try to understand what beautiful Sovereign is offering you.
You can be repaired.
Good morning, 4.6 readers. (Yes, you are growing by decimals at a time! 😀 ) I was looking through some old writing files and found this file entitled “Rant” from about 3 years ago. It’s still quite relevant. And, because I love you readers, I thought I would give you something else to munch on today.
I wonder what I am. Surely, nothing as self-destructive, self-defeating, self-dividing… Surely nothing such as this can exist. Matthew 12:25 tells us that a house divided against itself will surely fall. Why do I breathe at this moment? For some reason- which by all Human standards- tiptoes near lunacy, God decided before the Earth was created that I would be allowed to live. Imagine your worst enemy. Without God’s grace you could honestly profess the most amazing hatred for this person. Or maybe you don’t have such an enemy. Imagine a traitor. Judas Iscariot. Benedict Arnold. We’ll throw this one out there for the more recent example- John Walker Lindh, aka the “American Taliban”. These people betrayed their countries, their friends, their families. By Human standards and human reasoning and logic, hating these people would be completely acceptable. Even a need for vengeance is understood. Now there’s God. His standard is simple: Grace. For all people. Covering all of their sins. It’s so much of an understatement. He doesn’t just forgive you and accept you into His inheritance. He continues to forgive. Each time you slip into old sin, He forgives it. Each time you make a bad choice, you blatantly choose a sinful action- He forgives it. This, in league with my earlier examples, I would consider treason. An outright slap in the face to what God has given us. It is as bad as going up to Christ on the cross and spitting on him. We betray the grace God has granted us. And now you can understand why I question the very fact of my life at this moment. No human friendship could forgive the transgressions I’ve committed in my relationship with God. At yet, He is still forgiving. Beyond grace, He goes so far as to bless me. If I did not deserve grace, I certainly do not even come into the sector of blessings. Who can comprehend this love? Not I.
So, what now? If you are not left completely dumbfounded, vegetative, befuddled… whatever adjective you want to throw in here… If you can even squeak out a thought at all it has to be “How can I repay thee?” Of course, the answer is clearly that we cannot repay. It was a sacrifice and a gift far beyond the scope of humanity. God does ask us to serve Him. To submit our lives to His will. Now, a person completely ignorant of what that exactly entails would say “So great, I accept this gift, and now I also accept slavery? Service to a debt I can never repay?” It turns out this “servitude” is just another chance to receive blessing. When you submit fully to God, you will see Him begin to do amazing things in your life. You will see people healed, families restored, prodigals return home. That’s just the tip. God is so powerful, he can do anything he wants, to anyone at any time. The fact that he chooses to use one us, one of his vessels, to do it is just another way of pouring His love upon us. We should all so ravenously seek rightstanding and flawless submission to God. Then would we see such amazing works in our lives and the lives of others.
Someone once said, “We desire Grace for ourselves and Justice for others.” I think it was my pastor that said this one Sunday morning, and it stuck with me. Grace and Justice play huge rolls in our lives. We live and breathe because of grace. We thrive on it. Without grace, we would be abandoned to ourselves without hope. Also inside of us is this great need for Justice. We must have wrongs righted. We must see the bad guy lose and get what he deserves. This comes very close to home when someone near to us wrongs us. Most times, it’s probably an acquaintance that we’re not too fond of, or a neighbor that we just can’t get through to them that we need to sleep at 3:00am at that we definitely don’t want to hear their music while trying to do so. Maybe it’s a family member that has hurt you. Whatever the specifics are, we seem to thirst for justice. We may think to ourselves, “Go get ’em, God” or “God, will show you”. What about that grace we love? What if God “gave it to us” on behalf of the people we’ve wronged? I think Grace is more than just something God extends, I think grace is something He wants us to pour out as well. If we are to be instruments of God, how better to do so than to pour out grace and mercy. If you do this, I think you will confuse the person that has wronged you. You will be showing them something that is above human inclination and planting a seed. I know for certain that you will be allowing the Holy Spirit to have his way. And that’s definitely a good thing.
What do you think?