Our faith. Is it not sometimes restrained because of the pain we encounter?
I read posts nearly everyday about obedience. Scrolling through the many categories I choose to follow, especially the ‘God’ category, I read the posts of the legalists, the lost, those who have the obvious relationship and those who are more religious than any Pharisee. Nearly every Christian knows just how important it is to take up one’s cross, deny ourselves and make conscious decisions to become Christ like. Any legalistic follower will strive for perfection and shun the next at every given chance. But let’s say for instance, one’s mother, father, sister and niece have just been killed in an auto accident. The Christian fails to be obedient after the loss. They develop a drinking habit, begin to lose hope as they drown in those emotions that lead to destructive consequences. Is that it? God now sees that the Christian, His child, is no longer worthy of His Kingdom? The final straw has been drawn? He no longer loves that person? Or, let’s say the Christian smokes, destroying their temple? Or one has a problem with overeating? One man chooses to fail at something he had no idea was a sin? Oh legal Christian, do you not know that you too are breaking His laws? You’ve done something today that was not of His approval, and I’ll let you know one way. You continue to pour out your wrath, something solely reserved for the Lord, as you continue to tell people how they are such failures. Justifiably placing your words of disdain within reach of other brothers and sisters to somehow, in a self-absorbed manner, convince them of being unworthy of His final sacrifice!
Legalistic Christians, lean in. How dare you press your thoughts on those who suffer!
God knows the heart. Oh, yes He does! Unlike the legalists, he also shows grace. Mercy. Love. Comfort. He is the refuge for the grieving. The Christian man or woman who is lost in the emotions of the flesh may have hit a roadblock, or a long road that has set them on a course to terror. The emotions of loss have taken their toll on them. They lose sight of the promise, yet their faith remains. Weakened and dimmed faith, but remaining. Less than the size of the mustard seed. They may not feel worthy of love, and the legalist would surely crush any love they had left under their mighty righteousness! But I know the Lord would embrace that grieving man or woman. The love that He has shown us by taking the place for us at Calvary is an unfathomable agape love that cannot be understood by our little minds. He would never abandon the woman at the well. He would never leave the thief crucified next to Him who was never baptized, and He would never forsake His child. I sometimes believe the legalists would drop their own kid off on a secluded back road after spilling their milk! I’m so glad I am loved.
I know that I’m not good! You always tell me. Please don’t put me in solitary confinement again. I will do better. I promise. I know you don’t believe me because of my last failure, but I will be perfect next time. Please have mercy on me! Please don’t beat me with your Bible! I cannot stand the pain any longer. I am already blackened from your last beating. But, I deserve your wrath. I am a failure, I know. You’ve made it clear.
I just found out my Lord loves me beyond measure! That’s not what you have been teaching me or the world?? That’s what I always suspected as I read His Word, but you had claimed otherwise?
I know that someday I will be in His loving arms and far away from your chastisement. I will stand before His judgment, beaten, tattered and ragged. I will cry on the shoulder of Christ as He observes the pain in me, and the pain in you. I just found out that I have been washed clean afterall! Praise the LORD!!