Skip to main content

Is it easier to say 'Your sins are forgiven,' or 'Stand up and walk'?

Exhausted from carrying thirty extra pounds and an unmentionable number of grocery bags through the Rochester tundra, I sank to the floor in the kitchen to sort them.  This song was playing, on repeat, from my nearby computer:


I hadn't heard it before Sunday, but since then I have strongly considered adopting it as a manifesto for this season.  This is a time when my strength is insufficient.  No amount of planning, effort, or chutzpah on my part will change the outcome of this pregnancy or our child's brain.  And while God cannot be coerced, in Scripture He is often willing to intercede to meet a humble request.  

Before I stood up, I reflected on these lines:

No power can stand against You
No curse assault Your throne
No one can steal Your glory
For it is Yours alone
I stand to sing Your praises
I stand to testify
For I was dead in my sin
but now I rise
I will rise,
As Christ was raised to life.  


And I realized: when we come to Christ, begging for the crumbs that fall from the Master's table, we are not asking for God to do a miracle.  Christ is the miracle.  The miracle has been done.  We are asking for that miracle to touch or speak to our lives in a way that dramatically alters an otherwise inevitable course.  We are not asking God to "show up", as so often is murmured in Christian prayers.  God has shown up, once and for all, in Christ.  We are asking God to transform our lives and the lives for whom we intercede with power that has been manifest already in Christ's resurrection.  We are asking for a new application of the same power that cleansed us from sin.  And which is harder?  To tell us our sins are forgiven, or to command us to get up and walk?  But so we might know -- and show the world -- that Christ has the power to forgive sins,  He does both.

Honestly, even the strength to rise comes from Him.  This is not my story, this is not our baby's story, this is not even the story of the church.  This is His story.  And He always writes a better ending for His children than they could have written for themselves.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Giving through Christian Health Service Corps

We are now Christian Health Service Corps missionaries. We’ve had people ask about the best ways to support us, which we will list below. Thank you for considering joining us on this mission!  If you have any questions we would love to hear from you. By Check Make payable to:              Christian Health Service Corps or CHSC Memo line:                             Project Number #176/Helm Mail to:                       Christian Health Service Corps PO Box 132 Fruitvale, TX 75127   Via Bill Pay Set up an automatic Bill Pay instruction through your bank/financial institution with donations mailed to the address above, giving your “ Project Number 176/Helm ” as the account number.   Via CHSC’s Website – for credit card donations Donate online at: _ https://www.healthservicecorps.org/author/helm/ (Please note when donating online that the Recurring Frequency default is monthly .   Use the drop down box to choose your preference.    Also, when donating online,

Making a List and Checking it Twice (Choose Joy)

  Some of the best advice I heard about moving is to focus on what is good about where you are. This is solid counsel, and applicable to both temporal and geographic contentment. The pandemic provides endless opportunities for discontent, particularly comparison to how things used to be. But perspective is powerful.   I could think about snow, which reminds me that Summer is by far my least favorite season (especially in pregnancy), we don’t have a yard/lawn/parks, and the kids have been stuck inside for months (and now can’t go three minutes without fighting). We can’t bake Christmas cookies because we made the difficult but correct decision not to have an oven in our 90 degree kitchen. Our kids miss soccer, gym class, running, and having friends. And if my thoughts go in that direction, my jaw tenses up and frustration mounts.  Or I could think about how we have everything we need and so many things we want. A huge fan blowing. Christmas music streaming on internet better than we oft

If You Give a Perfectionist a Choice (and Other Reflections on Parenting)

  Ethan took the three older kids to a tiny-pandemic-birthday-party-in-a-big-space this afternoon. This is the first time the kids have left our apartment complex since mid-February, aside from visiting their brother in the hospital and attending a required interview at the Embassy. They were pumped. Like composing a tune and rocking out on the futon and/or sitting near the door with socks and bugspray on ready to go (personality-dependent division). The relative silence of the past hour turned me into Superwoman. I’m listening to classical music while eating baked oatmeal and writing a blog I had time to think about during my uninterrupted workout. Our baby is sleeping in front of our industrial-sized fan. The 90 degree-heat and unmentionable humidity can’t hold me back. I remember watching mothers of more than one child in utter amazement as a first-time mom just eight years ago. Did they have extra arms? Extra hours in their days? How did they do it? In the hospital last month