Sunday, April 19, 2009

Grabbing the Rudder

This blog has been an aimless pursuit for far too long, but I intend to change that. The only thing of any eternal value in this life is the pursuit of God and the changes that result from a life wholly devoted to finding out who he is, finding out what he wants and doing it. Really, what else matters?

I will soon turn 45, and I have noticed the years are likely fewer from here on out, unless I live an unusually long time. There are things I have done well in my life and things I have done poorly. I have striven to do what God wants for most of my life, without a clear understanding of what that looked like, and though I don't mean to hurt those in my past, but I wasn't taught well how to live out the Bible in my daily life.

Of all the things I have done, my greatest regret is that I didn't do a better job teaching my children, not just about God, but how to know him and how to follow him. It is my fervent prayer that through these writings I can share my heart with my children and anyone else who would care to follow along my journey. I kept my thoughts deep inside of me and rarely shared anything of depth with anyone in my family. I had a difficult childhood (sorry Mom and Dad, but it's true), and one of the things I gained is a fear of telling anyone my thoughts for fear of criticism and shame. I would talk about actions, but not discuss the real motivations of my heart, nor discuss what I was learning from God, never mention my fears, my failures, my hopes, etc.

I am so sorry, Kristen, Craig and Alex. I never felt that anyone would want to hear my heart, and once I gained friends with whom I could share that part of me I simply didn't know how to talk that way with you. I guess I still don't, which is why I'm writing to you this way.

I have spent so much of my life afraid of falling short of the mark, and knowing I would fall short and waiting for the retribution of a God who could not possibly have truly forgiven me. I how I want you to know the forgiveness that God has provided. The Bible says many times and in many ways that God is gracious and merciful and has carried our sins away, or covered them or washed them. It is poetic language to describe something we have difficulty understanding. One of the reasons to read the Old Testament is to understand that God always provided a way for man to have a relationship with himself despite our sin. He covered sins, he carried them away, like the scape goat which carried away the sins of the people. He covered them in the blood of sacrifices, all pointing to the time when he would remove our sins as far as the East is from the West. He would hurl our sins into the sea, it says in Micah 7.

Oh if only I really understood this truth more fully. He didn't just use a ledger book to account our sins to the account of Jesus, He didn't just mark the bill "Paid in Full", he, the righteous and holy God, the one whose perfection is so far above our understanding we will never truly know it, whose purity we cannot comprehend, took all our sins and impurity, all our guilt and stain, all the stink of our sins, of our pride, our lies, our greed, our gossip, our sexual sins, our covetousness, all of it--he took all of our filth on himself. "He who knew no sin became sin for us."

His purity, his sacrifice, his blood was the necessary remedy for sin. He was the cure that eradicates the sin of his people. Oh I wish I had begun to understand this sooner. I would have been a different mom. I would have been more merciful and forgiving, I would have been kinder, and I would have allowed you to know me.

Oh, you may never really like me. I still have a lot of messed up history to be redeemed and from which I need healing, so I will be dreadfully imperfect, but I intend to have the courage to speak to you and to be myself with you, to no longer hide the depths of my heart from you. You are my precious children and I love you with a love I cannot describe.

I intend to make the rest of my life count for God. Period. He has redeemed me and removed my sins, remembering them no more and even the stink of them he has removed from me. Past, present or future, I am forgiven. Totally. Completely.

Read it for yourselves. I have 2000 or so books on my shelves, but none has had the impact on me that the Bible has. God will show you in his word such truth, such depth and such healing that you can even get over being raised by me!

So...I intend to continue this blog with thoughts from my heart, be they meditation, prayers, mentions of God's goodness, scriptures that are terribly meaningful, examples I want to share. If you would know the heart of your mother, read along. When I get to the end of my life I intend to be able to say to you, "I've shown you how a Christ-follower lives, now let me show you how one dies." I intend to finish the course well and never, ever, ever lose my faith or fall away. The one who paid such a high price for me deserves my trust in the midst of the darkest times.

Even though there may be dark times when I don't feel like it, with my heart, with my mind and with all my strength I will say with Job, "Thou he slay me, even then I will trust him." I may have my fist shaking in defiance of the fear that would steal my heart away and the evil one who would seek to shake me, but I truly have nowhere else to go. If God is not who he says he is, then I am utterly miserable and lost. Has he not shown us his goodness in the earth? His grandeur in the stars? Has he not watered the earth from his storehouse of snow? Has he not shown his power in the thunder and in the raging storm?

I long for you to know him more than anything. I could die happy tomorrow if I knew that you were all following after Jesus with your whole hearts. It is the only thing of any value I have to give you.

1 comment:

Kim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.