I have this thorn in my hand. Been there for over a month. I keep thinking I need to try again – with the needle. But I don’t, and it festers up, this tiny spot on my palm.
Even this is grace: knowing our sore spots.
The Spirit needs time to bring all our thorns to the surface. So we don’t cut into our hands/souls when digging up forgiveness. For ourselves – for them. You know the ones. Causing the festering. They probably don’t even know it. How we ring our hands over that hurt, that word said, that lack of attention.
That rub in your side, where the thorn is festering…it’s where you go. To practice grace. You lean in when it hurts.
There is a fear. To self-protect. It’s natural…for our nature.
And all of Christian life is this battle, this warring, this fight to the finish.
Our sin nature battling to win.
The Spirit saying, Forgive. Release.
We want the healing balm, but the scalpel brings redemption. It would be easier to live this life alone. Comfortable with just God. Loving Him and His Word. Not dealing with all the other people. The not-so-easy-to-love people He loves so much.
There are hurts in all of us. This daily need for grace. To receive and to give the abundant stuff. And we will offer grace to the extent that we truly believe we have received it ourselves.
What if we could dive into grace, like a pool, sinking deep down. Overwhelmed by the saturating. What if we could see how far the east is from the west – the unreachable sins He has forgiven. Could we breath deep then of an unaffected life. Strong in him, less offended.
John the Baptist lived to serve Him. Waited to see Him. Then Jesus arrived on the scene, and John was imprisoned. All the build up, all the fighting for souls, the preparing the way for the Christ.
Christ’s words about him? “Blessed are those who do not take offense on account of me.”
Then John? No applause for his work. No publicist to make his story look good. Just a choice – to release the need for self-promotion. And honor the Lord no matter the outcome.
He was beheaded.
What hurts the deepest tells us something about ourselves. What we do about those hurts – tells us even more.
It’s a hard work, forgiveness. It required a cross. It requires no less for us in the Spirit. To lay down our pride, our need to be right, to get even, mostly to explain our side…..and pick up the cross of love.
Most days I fail. Not on the choice to forgive, or the want to. But the living it out.
And then I remember to “put no confidence in the flesh.” Phil 3:3
This exhortation is not just personal, but corporate. To put no confidence in your human nature or that of any one else. The most devout disciple still has much to learn of Christ. So why are we surprised by sin? By negativity? Or persecution? Are we not aware of each man’s sin nature? Of the evil prowling at every side?
“Jesus Christ never trusted human nature yet wasn’t cynical or suspicious because he had absolute trust in what he could do for human nature.” – Oswald Chambers
Cynicism tries to fill the hole we just emptied when we forgave. To keep us from loving, trusting again.
Can we trust Him to work it all out in us…and in them? The changing of our nature. The mending of broken places.
Can we be audacious enough to confess our own weaknesses and then actually accept His covering grace for ourselves? This hope of glory – reforming the wretches we were, that we are.
Because grace is contagious. We want to catch this everlasting hope to infect the world.
The master surgeon has steady hands. To remove the thorn and apply the balm in His time. Let our work be a surrender alone: Yes, Lord. What work He must do in other people…that’s his business.
Our business is grace lived out.
I’m linking up today with Beth at #w2w Wednesday. Join the crew! Encourage someone today. How can we better live out grace? Comment below!