Thursday, November 13, 2008

"A Pure Gift"

This week seems to bring one word to mind -- "Overwhelmed"

The sense of being overwhelmed not only comes to mind in my own life but in the lives around me. We had a group of people over for dinner last night and we all agreed that we are feeling tired with the night coming earlier in the evening. But there was a sense of something more...

In the past three days I have talked to-

People who are physically tired.
People who are weary in their job.
People who are worn out by the kids they work with.
People who are tired of fighting to remain pure.
People who are drained of compassion.
People who are faced yet again with a huge obstacle that they can't seem to get over.

And this doesn't even touch my conversations with all of the single mothers that I work with on a daily basis, who could sing these phrases as an anthem, if they chose to do so.

A single mother who-

was in a car accident and had her car totalled with little money coming back to her for it.
is afraid that her ex-husband is going to try to take her children from her.
got denied for the apartment she was desperately hoping to get into.

We are overwhelmed as a whole. This is the life that we live in. A while back I was getting something fixed on my car, knowing that more would need to be done soon. I was frustrated becasue this was one more thing that I was working on. It seems like everything in life is a struggle sometimes, doesn't it?

Cars need new parts.
Everything needs cleaned...repeatedly.
Health declines.
Things break.
Plants die. (sometimes it's the little things in life)

Death and decay should come as no surprise for us, but it does. I came to realize that I was expecting everything in life to be growing and healthy and I forgot the affect of sin in our world. When sin entered the human race and we were faced with the consequences, it was a promise that this world would not offer the life it once seemed to have potential for. In Genesis 3 we see that nature, our relationships, and even our physical labor was greatly altered in that moment.

If we want life. If we want to be renewed. That will only, only, come through Christ. He is the only one who longs to restore life to it's original purpose. He does not die, he does not decay, and while these things are happening in our world now - that will not always be the case. Someday he will bring restoration.

Romans 3:21 MSG
But in our time something new has been added. What Moses and the prophets witnessed to all those years has happened. The God-setting-things-right that we read about has become Jesus-setting-things-right for us. And not only for us, but for everyone who believes in him. For there is no difference between us and them in this. Since we've compiled this long and sorry record as sinners (both us and them) and proved that we are utterly incapable of living the glorious lives God wills for us, God did it for us. Out of sheer generosity he put us in right standing with himself. A pure gift. He got us out of the mess we're in and restored us to where he always wanted us to be. And he did it by means of Jesus Christ.

What beautiful words. What a beautiful God. There is hope.

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