Sometimes God can jump right out of the pages of the Bible and smack me right upside the head. I guess it’s that way with any great piece of literature-the pages seem to spring to life as you read them. Most every night, after the kiddos have surrendered to sleep and the husband has gone into his nightly coma-on-the-couch, I snuggle in with my bible and my journal and read. If I’m being truthful, sometimes I read my bible out of obligation to God. I want to please him, be obedient to him and grow closer to him and the natural progression in that relationship is to read and seek him out. Sometimes though, I shamefully treat it like a daunting task that must be done rather than something that I get to do. Emotions are wonky like that. I’ll admit that on those nights, I usually read a chapter or so and then head off to bed without much deep thought….and even more shamefully, I feel like I’ve clocked in my hours as a “good and dutiful Christian”. OY. Other nights though, I begin reading and the sweet holy spirit speaks directly to my heart. I mean, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it a million more times I’m sure, but emotions are so weird. If my mood is holier-than-thou and I think I’m doing God a favor by reading HIS word, I am surprised when I go to bed and don’t feel like the bible had any message for me…..BUT when I read it with an open and eager heart and mind, the precious Holy Spirit moves and changes me. It is never him that is changing the situation, no, it all falls back on me. My willingness. My attitude. My eagerness. My humbleness. So, the other night I was reading in Samuel and I had one of those so called, “come to Jesus” meetings but actually with Jesus. It was intense, to say the least. Here was the scripture that has had me thinking for the past few days:
2 Samuel 22:28 To the faithful you show yourself faithful, to the blameless you show yourself blameless, to the pure you show yourself pure, but to the devious you show yourself shrewd. You save the humble, but your eyes are on the haughty to bring them low.
Yikes. Let that sink in for a minute. It had me all kinds of wild. It made me look in my own self-righteous mirror and ask, “What am I to you, Lord?” I always think about what God is to me and what he can do/has done for me, but rarely do I truly meditate on what I am to him. So, I got to thinking. Am I faithful, blameless or pure? Do I humble myself to others? And I’m not talking about the kind of humble that makes you be-nice-to-the-bill-collector-when-they-call-even-though-you-secretly-want-to-scream-at-them humble. (what? Like a bill collector has never called you before. pffftt.) I’m talking about the wash-the-feet-of-the-homeless-orphan-widow kind of humble. That night, in my own reflection I saw faithful and blameless. After all, I am faithful in checking my facebook seven million times a day, faithful in spending far to much time shopping online and even faithful in ensuring that our schedules are so busy that we rarely have time to just sit and relax. I am blameless. That’s right. I rarely take the blame for my own mistakes, even when I know I should because I have been known to be a little stubborn and proud. I will blamelessly cast it elsewhere and blamelessly accept my position as queen of everything. Somehow I don’t think that is the kind of faithful and blameless King David was referring to. Needless to say, I went to sleep feeling like a failure of a Christian and maybe even a fake. My heart was heavy and my sorrow profound.
Since that night, my thoughts have lingered back to that scripture. I knew I wanted to write about it but was embarrassed to admit all the aforementioned things about myself…so I pondered and prayed. I’ll admit, I’ve been pretty down on myself these past few days, wondering how I could possibly contribute to the kingdom of Heaven and what God thinks of me. BUT OH GOD! Like literally. He is so awesome and good to me. Tonight, while driving home, the kids were chattering about their day and I was only about half-way listening when Ava says, “mom, so-and-so at school was talking about being rich. I told them that I’m rich with God and Jesus. I don’t even care what they think of me because God and Jesus make me rich.” whoa. She is 7 and she gets it. She ‘gets’ what some grown men and women long and search for but never find. I told her how super proud I was of her and we talked for a few minutes about her convo at school. Then later tonight, in a quiet moment, the Lord gently reminded me of just how my baby girl knew such a profound thing. It’s because everyday, without fail, we speak of Jesus in this house. Of his love, his mercy, his faithfulness and his goodness. I speak of Jesus FAITHFULLY. We pray each morning on the way to school, at every meal, and before they go to sleep. I may not be pure in all my actions each day but my heart is pure when I tell my sweet children about the love I have for the one who gave it all on an old rugged cross. I may not be blameless to the naked eye but because I believe that my sins were the final nail in his precious body, I can ask for forgiveness, experience true repentance and stand BLAMELESS before my God. These thoughts came flooding in, just as quickly as I could think them. But, if you know God like I do, that should be no surprise. Even though I am faulty and sinful to the naked eye, God loves me so much that he reminds me what he sees in me. Yes, I do need to delete the facebook app from my phone, yes, I should probably quit turning into the Incredible Hulk every time on of my children leaves a toy (or five million) out in the living room but thankfully he sees more in me than my sins. And here’s a spoiler alert, I’ve read the whole book and he loves YOU that much, too. In Samuel, a few verses down, its says, “As for God, his way is perfect. The Lord’s word is flawless, he shields ALL who take refuge in him for who is God besides the Lord? And who is the rock except our God?”
Thanks God, for always being my shield.