The sin underneath all our sins is the lie of the serpent that we cannot trust the love and grace of Christ and that we must take matters into our own hands.

-Martin Luther

            

Recently I was praying and I ended up having one of those uncomfortable moments—but it was one I needed to endure nonetheless.  I’d call the instance a personal Come to Jesus Meeting.  I had promised God not too long ago that I was going to stop doing something I needed to dis-continue a good while ago and it hadn’t worked—my promising that is.  The failure to keep my promise had left me feeling shameful and had slowly grown into a source of pain, frustration and resentment—directed at no one other than myself.

I was going around and around with this struggle of mine—one that I had thought I’d have whipped into shape by this point in my life.  I hesitated to talk about it with anyone because the last time I did—it cost me.  I really hadn’t even wanted to face it and was hoping that for once, my ignoring it was going to make it disappear.  But there it was, staring me in the face.  My broken promises to be better had landed me in a pile of self-pity and I was tired of being sick of it.   

Basically, I told God I was wore out with trying to handle a battle I wasn’t very well winning—and that promising him I’d just quit doing that which I knew he had warned me about wasn’t working for me like I thought it might.  Obviously—the answer had to be something other than making another one of my half-hearted desperate promises.  He knew it and I knew it.  And to hide it or pretend it were different wasn’t going to help either.  I suggested he just flog me for being so presumptuous to make a promise I wasn’t serious enough to follow up on.  I certainly deserve it (the flogging at least), but I just have trouble believing God is gonna rake me over the coals or show me the  door at this point. 

The way I look at it, I can take one for the team and be the one guy my teammates can look to and say: If Ken gets grace, there has to be grace for the rest of us!  

  Remember what you said to me, your servant—
      I hang on to these words for dear life!
   These words hold me up in bad times;
      yes, your promises rejuvenate me.
   The insolent ridicule me without mercy,
      but I don’t budge from your revelation. 
   (Psalm 119:49-51, The Message Bible)  

My broken promises haven’t gotten me too far but I get the sense that trusting God’s promises will get me a whole lot farther.

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