Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Have You No Scar?

“I’m sad to say that my marriage did not survive, and that’s been part of the unmaking that God’s been working in my life. He’s been so kind to me in helping me understand that crisis and disaster and personal failure and sorrow do not have to be something to be ashamed of or be hidden….” Nichole Nordeman in an interview with World magazine.

This priceless treasure we hold, so to speak, in a common earthenware jar—to show that the splendid power of it belongs to God and not to us. We are handicapped on all sides, but we are never frustrated; we are puzzled, but never in despair. We are persecuted, but we never have to stand it alone: we may be knocked down but we are never knocked out! –2 Cor. 4:7 Phillips

When I was a new believer there was something that happened in church.  We called it “conviction.”  The pastor taught the Bible and I recognized that there was a gap between the life I lived and the way God wanted me to live it.  Sometimes I made easy course corrections.  Long term issues like pride and arrogance still spring up like weeds in a garden.  There have been some issues of deep moral brokenness that took me many seasons to realize affected me---and years of struggle to get a grip on. Group counseling was immensely helpful in coming to terms with sins committed in my brokenness; as well as confession and accountability to other men.  “A righteous man falls seven times, and rises again,” says Proverbs. 

The conviction I mention above happens because I believe that the Bible is God’s inspired word. Therefore it has authority over how I live out my life---and the choices I make.  My first marriage ended in divorce.  When dating my second wife we committed to doing it God’s way; so much so that we enlisted accountability partners---primarily to keep us out of bed.

We yearn to know Christ so we embrace His word.  My heart breaks today.  Friends who are Christ followers are unwilling to make Biblical choices which will wound them in the short run.  They choose saving face over deeper grace.  They choose shallow happiness over the abounding deep joy found in clinging to Christ.  Yes we slip and stumble; but we are raised seven times through Christ that He might ever more be magnified in us.  In the words of Amy Carmichael;

Hast thou no scar?
No hidden scar on foot, or side, or hand?
I hear thee sung as mighty in the land,
I hear them hail they bright ascendant star,
Hast thou no scar?

Hast thou no wound?
Yet I was wounded by the archers, spent,
Leaned Me against a tree to die; and rent
By ravening beasts that compassed Me, I swooned:
Hast thou no wound?

No wound?  No scar?
Yet, as the Master shall the servant be,
And pierced are the feet that follow me;
But thine are whole: can he have followed far
Who has nor wound nor scar?    

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