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.


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