Smeagol is Free!
A hermitudinal view of...stuff...


Broken Display

I've done much thinking this week, particularly in the past day or two. The thought that hit me over and over again today was simple: I desire for others to see Christ in my life, and so much so that when they think of me later on, their overwhelming impression is such that can only explain interacting with me by saying, "I saw Jesus in him." Today, however, that thought brought me no pleasure. In fact, it was downright sobering, daunting, and especially, lacking.

It was a realization that made the walls of pride around me come crumbling and tumbling down. Why? I think of the biblical characters I admire most: Peter, David, Moses, Paul, Jeremiah, Hosea, John, John, Jonah, Job...the list goes on, and I'm sure everyone would agree. The thing is, though, that when I stop and think about why I admire them, about why I identify with them, and yes, about why I see Jesus' glory shining forth from their lives, it's for one simple reason: they were real people, with real struggles, weighed down by real sins, who all struggled mightily to see and understand and embrace the real mercy of a holy God. They weren't merely doctrinal geniuses who got everything right, who did everything By the Book. Shame from sin? Check. Misunderstood by those closest to them? Check. Hated by others for the sake of their Lord? Check. Struggles with and falling in sin, even as those saved by grace? Check. Loss of everything? Check.

The point is this: their lives display the grace and mercy of God not in spite of their weaknesses, but because of them.

There's another list of biblical characters that I'll probably take some time to think over as I go to bed tonight, and that would be the list of people that God admires, that God delights in. You see, I'm a finite human, with a very limited understanding of God's character and dimension. I do not delight in the things that God delights in in quite the same manner, and therefore, I'm quite sure that while He does take delight in Peter, David, and all the rest, there are others that I would probably look at and glance over far too quickly for His tastes. Those are the ones of whom He may look at even now and say, "Look, behold my beloved, the one from whom My Son's glory bursts forth!" I like to think that such a list would include the widow who offered a mere two copper coins, the shepherds who first came to Jesus at His birth, the various children who went to Jesus, the woman caught in adultery that Jesus forgave, and, quite possibly, even Gomer.

That's not a list of glorious theologians, great evangelists, or pillars of church history. Indeed, we're not shown very much of those characters other than in the tiny patches where they are woven into the biblical narrative. In fact, especially in the case of Gomer, we don't really know what their salvific state is. In Hosea's story, we're told that she's the adulterous woman he is to marry. We see that the story of their marriage is to foreshadow Christ's love and faithfulness in His marriage to His bride, the church. For that reason, I include Gomer, because I often forget that I, too, am God's beloved, and that He delights in looking upon me and seeing the ways He has and is and shall work to cleanse me and cherish me and nourish me. I like to think of myself as being strong, as being able to uphold myself. Yet, that's a sad lie that I buy into as I learn more about God and fail to be awed by His grace.

Pray with me that I would truly learn, as these biblical characters did, of God's grace, and in doing so, show forth Christ. Pray with me that Christ would be displayed in my humble, broken, trusting weakness and dependence on Him.

posted by Bolo | 11:43 PM
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