Thursday, November 10, 2005

Even when I'm unfaithful...

A group of guys from our church have formed a band. It is called Undone. They have put together a couple of cd’s and were working on another just before Katrina hit. I have a copy of their first cd and have recently put it on my mp3 player. At least once a day, I hear a song from that cd. The song that comes up most often “for some reason” is a song called “Always Faithful.” The part that sticks in my head and keeps me singing the rest of the day is “Even when I’m unfaithful, you are faithful…”

With this verse still ringing in my head, I received an e-mail from our worship leader. He closed it with this “if we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He CANNOT deny Himself. (2 Tim 2.13)”

I couldn’t dismiss it as coincidence…in fact there isn’t much I could dismiss as coincidence.

As I read that, and sang the song simultaneously, I thought about my post from yesterday. “Even when I’m unfaithful (to walk as I should) He is faithful (to speak and lead and correct and bless and provide and get me where it is I need to be).

In my mind (and it is possible that this is only a unique thing for me through the Holy Spirit and will not make any sense to anyone else), I can’t think about the faithfulness of God without thinking of a few specific things…

First, my family…”you will be saved, you and your household. (Acts 16:31)”, second my weight loss “he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion (Phil 1:6)” and finally, marriage. I don’t have a bible promise on this. There is nothing in scripture that guarantees me a husband. I am promised that “all these things” will be added to me and that if I delight myself in the Lord He will give me the desires of my heart.

Marriage is a desire I believe he has put in my heart. Other than truly delighting in the Lord, seeing my family come to know Christ, and my nieces and nephew grow up in purity and become godly men and women, there is nothing I desire more.

I believe this is of the Lord, as esteeming the gifts of husband and children is not a given just because I am a woman. I come in contact with many women (single and married) who do not esteem wifedom and motherhood as I do…many with these gift that wish they’d made different choices.

At times, I am tempted to think that I have a choice in this and that if I had made different choices throughout my life I would not be where I am today…i.e., single and childless. But the truth of the matter is that I am exactly where I need to be.

This life I am living now is not a consolation prize, it is not punishment and it is not an accident. It was planned, purposed and accomplished by the Hand of God…and therefore it is not just ok or bearable…it is good…the best for me right now. Right now, it is best for me to be at this job, living this life, with the freedom to serve my family as I am currently being called to do. My singleness has given me the freedom to help care for my nieces and nephew on the weekends, to (without reservation or discussions) open up my home to my brother and his family as long as they need to stay, to live away from home 4 nights a week and (hopefully) show the love of Christ to family members I wouldn’t ordinarily have such time with, and to have additional time to further my walk and better prepare for what the Lord has for me.

At times, the ache in my heart makes it is hard to see all that…but then I am reminded of the truth. Yesterday, it came in the form of an e-mail from our worship leader, which said…some might think time has made a cynic out of even God and that the ‘streams of mercy never ceasing’ have – “we’re sorry to report” – seceded. No, we’re confident of better things, because of just this attribute and just this truth: “if we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He CANNOT deny Himself. (2 Tim 2.13)”

He also reminded me that the same grace and mercy and love that seals me eternally, works for my good and (as John Piper has said ) is "plotting" for my joy daily…working all things to my good. Even current struggles in my walk…even my unfaithfulness.

What struck me in the car this morning as I pondered all of this was…though my actions (or inaction) does matter…it really doesn’t because God is bigger than anything I can or can’t do…bigger than the best thing I can accomplish for Him and the worst of my failings. His sovereignty guarantees that even my worst days are for my good…are not just happenstance. They are purposeful and intended to teach me more of Him, convince me more of my need of Him, and train me in righteousness.

This “theology” is not a license for me to go my merry way doing as I please…in fact, this realization served only to remind me that I am utterly incapable of doing any good thing outside of the grace of God. It led me to thank Him for what He has done and to acknowledge my “helpless estate” and ask for the grace to walk as I should today. It humbled me…and I believe that is the proper response to all doctrine. We must be humbled…we must decrease so He can increase.

It is only in this posture, with this motivation that we can effectively walk in the way He has “shewn” (as Amy Carmichael would say), for “He resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

It is only in this posture that we can do what today’s Daily Light encourages…[bear] fruit in every good work and [increase] in the knowledge of God…and present [our] bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God.

Daily, I find I am faced with choices…choices to obey or disobey…to conform or be transformed…to seek my own will or His. As a child of God, in any circumstance, there really is one choice…one way…and we are told that His way is always the best way. In effect, we are to chose as He would chose…and as my Elisabeth Elliot devotion said this morning…"He gives the very best to those who leave the choice with Him."

Lord, let us…let me…endeavor to leave each choice to you…seeking only to honor and please you and walk in a way that reflects you, testifies to you, blesses you. In so doing, let me also leave the outcome to you, and trust in your faithfulness.

1 comment:

  1. All I can say is...

    "for such a time as this"--Esther 4:14