Sundays are a good day for self evaluation. Reflection. Listening.
As we sang our first song in worship today, it was all I could do to not run from the building in shame.
I had a conversation several months ago with my favorite atheist.
This person is someone I love very, very much.
I pray for them constantly.
I weep for them.
I'm sure they'd get a real kick out of that.
I beg God to call them to repentance.
I beg God to humble them.
I find comfort in the fact that God's Word never returns void. I find comfort in knowing this person has not only heard the Gospel, but KNOWS the Gospel. So far, just in their head. I'm praying one day they will know it in their heart as well.
Back to our conversation. This person didn't like that I used the phrase, "I am a pitiful, pitiful soul. The only good in me is Christ." They argued that religion had taught me that I am a bad person. That it was something I'd learned along the way and it made them sad that I think of myself as a bad person.
I honestly don't know how any human being can think they're good. I mean, truly. In their heart of hearts. Knowing their own thoughts and having acted out in ways only they and God know. How can anyone really think they're good?
I was reminded this week when a lovely teen gave my entire family the finger because he mistakenly thought we'd honked at him in the cross walk. It was actually the person behind us, who probably didn't see him. Either way, we got the brunt of his anger. The thoughts that I had toward this fella and the anger that I felt...I was reminded.
The fact that my children will probably correlate church attendance with their mother being a lunatic about getting out the door on time...
The crappy attitude I've allowed to build in me towards certain people lately...I've been reminded.
The ungratefulness that I feel in my heart too often...I'm reminded.
The aggravation that most people don't see.
The tone of voice that comes out of my mouth.
The innermost thoughts that I'd never share with anyone.
They remind me of who I am.
Who I am without Christ.
I am nothing.
On the flip side, when you realize who you are and what you have to offer, there is not much hope. But God.
Just in the last few days.
When chatting with a very dear friend and realizing they gave up everything for the sake of doing what is RIGHT. I was reminded.
When looking into the eyes of a healed friend who is no longer battling cancer, I was reminded.
Sitting behind a soldier who came home safe and sound to his beautiful family.
Hearing the story of others and knowing they've lost the very thing(s) I take for granted every day, yet trusting in the goodness of God.
I am reminded that God is good. Even in the midst of the heartbreaking, horrible sadness that life can be. He is GOOD. This is real. Whether people want to acknowledge God or not is insignificant.
The first thing Sean said when we got in the car after church today, "The thing I love most is that it's never too late to start over."
True. For the most part. Yet another thing I was reminded of lately is that we are not promised tomorrow. It doesn't matter if you're young or old. There are no exception clauses.
As long as you have breath, repent. Trust in what Christ has done for you on the cross. Realize there is nothing you can offer. You can't count on your own goodness to save you from a holy God.
In Romans 1, it says that not one of us will have an excuse. I'm always a bit befuddled when people say, "I'll deal with it when I get there." As if Heaven or Hell is a travel destination and their eternity is a piece of luggage. What on earth do they assume our time on well, earth, is for? Every heartbeat is another second of God's patience.
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made,even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
That's my soapbox for the day. Just something that was on my heart. I pray that not one person in my little world would get to the end of their days having never heard of the sacrifice of the savior of the world. Jesus Christ is Lord and I'm so thankful that I have HIS goodness in me.