Friday, November 22, 2013

how to win

Maybe we should all just make a list.

We wear failure like an itchy wool sweater on hot steamy day. It sits on our skin and irritates us until we go mad.

We can ditch the sweater if we dare.

We would have to be brave to pick up a pen, hope the fear wouldn't cause too much tremor in our grip, and write.them.down.

If we saw our failures, our lack, our less-than-perfect attributes scrawled out in lovely black and white letters, is it possible that we would feel better?

Because our failures can seem all jumbled and tangled up, one upon the other. The often drag along behind us, a weary reminder of our flawed humanity.

We can start with the basics; our failure to love our family perfectly, our lack of patience, our lack of faith, the slanderous evil that we speak against ourselves in our own minds, and the way we can't seem to get past that character flaw we've been working on for the last decade.

Then we will move on to the next items, and really unlock the deep, twisted crazy in our souls; the way we have failed to meet the unfair expectations our culture has thrust at us, our grief at the way we don't live beyond the criticism of unstable people in our lives, and the painful reflection of our sin and brokenness in the mirror called God's word.

Once this inventory is taken, we will wait for an answer from our Father in heaven.

God knows our weaknesses. He sees our cracks and empty attempts to live beyond than the sin that comes naturally to the human race. Jesus died so we could live in full view of our tendencies to get it all wrong, and so we could have the answer through His greater grace.

If we were capable of perfection, we would not need the gospel. Our failure opens space in our souls for sacrificial love to transform us.

He smiles at our list, "You never fail when you praise Me."

It's true.

Lift your hands, and tell Him how His endless love never fails to reach the shores of your heart.

Close your eyes and whisper out the truth in His presence, "You are the Lamb of God who takes away my sin."

Open your lips and sing about His amazing grace, His heavenly presence, and the beauty of the old rugged cross.

You win every time. Light fills your soul. You cross a holy finish line and the old failures pass away.

This is how we shed our failure and begin again. We tear up our list, because He takes our failure upon Himself.

This God of ours does what seems impossible. He eats death and births new life in His children. He is more than we deserve, all that we need, and full of grace and truth. His law is love, and his holiness consumes our lists in the fire of His presence.

So go ahead, make a list and then you will see how He can

"Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault. All glory to him who alone is God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord. All glory, majesty, power, and authority are his before all time, and in the present, and beyond all time! Amen." -Jude 1:24-25

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