Ever see something that makes you wonder, “What’s the point?”
It’s really windy here in Lubbock. Which is to say the Pope is Catholic, water is wet, the Grand Canyon is deep, and the Minnesota Vikings still haven’t won a Super Bowl.
If Rodgers and Hammerstein weren’t able to obtain the financing for “Oklahoma!” they could have staged the musical “Lubbock” because the wind comes sweepin’ down the plain here most every day.
The 30-mile per hour gusts are pushing my car around as I’m driving down 19th Street to pick up Annie and Emma from school. I’m about to turn on Toledo when I notice a lady from a lawn service crew using a leaf blower on the sidewalk. Every twig and blade of grass, every leaf and speck of dirt she points her Black and Decker at blows out two feet, leaps up, does a seven foot back flip and lands four feet behind her.
I laugh and shake my head. “What’s the point?” When face to face with Mother Nature, sometimes it’s wise to concede to the greater power.
When we think about using a leaf blower in a wind storm, we ask “what’s the point?” Yet there’s something we do that’s equally foolish.
And life draining.
Something that should cause us to wonder, “What’s the point?”
Songwriter Bob Bennett put it best.
“It’s amazing how foolish I can be, to hang on to my sin when it’s forgiven me.”
I grew up in the church, was raised in a Christian home, graduated from a Christian liberal arts college, earned a seminary degree, have actively led and facilitated ministry both inside the church and in the workplace. I’ve been a preacher and a teacher. My head knows the right answers. At least many of them.
Yet as someone has said, the longest distance in the world is between the head and the heart.
Knowing you are a forgiven person and living like you’re a forgiven person is the distance between the head and the heart.
I can’t speak for you, but that’s been a struggle for me.
How many of us know in our heads that we are saved by grace through faith alone, yet our hearts can’t seem to shake the feeling that there must be some minimum level of performance required for God to be pleased with us?
How many of us know in our heads that God forgives us yet our hearts wonder if He does so only because it’s in His job description?
How many of us know in our heads that nothing can separate us from God’s love, yet our hearts are fearful that past sins make it impossible for us to be loved by God, let alone accepted by Him?
In my Bible I carry a bookmark given to me by Dr. Norm Wakefield. It reads, “The terms and conditions of a relationship determine the nature of the relationship.”
So it boils down to this: In our relationship with God, whose terms and conditions are going to rule? Ours? Or God’s?
Put another way, isn’t it time we stop defining God by our experience and allow Him to define Himself and His relationship to us by His own terms?
God says those who have put their faith in Christ are:
Forgiven (1 John 1:9) Reconciled (Romans 5:11) Adopted (Romans 8:15-16) Heirs (Romans 8:17) Elevated (Ephesians 2:6) Never abandoned or alone (Matthew 28:20) Players in God’s divine drama (Ephesians 2:10) Proof of God’s grace (Ephesians 2:7) Forever loved (Romans 8:35-39) Eternally saved (Romans 6:23)
And that’s just the short list.
After all those promises, God the Father pulls us close, looks us in the eye and says, “Now listen. You believe in me. And I believe in you. Don’t forget that you’re my kid. So when you wanna talk to me, don’t come here hangin’ your head. You come strong. Head up. You come talk to me with confidence because my grace is all over you. You’ll find everything you need right here in Me.” (paraphrase – Hebrews 4:14-16)
In light of these truths, what’s the point of hanging on to our sin when it’s forgiven us? What’s the point of living in a past that God has forgiven at the expense of a future that God has redeemed?
If we haven’t done so already, it’s time to allow God’s terms and conditions to determine the nature of our relationship with Him.
When face to face with the living God, it’s always wise to concede to the greater power.
Because our leaf blower logic makes no sense against the wind of His truth.
“The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and great in loving kindness.” – Psalm 145:8
Todd A. Thompson – October 31, 2007