So, away on vacation I’m reminded that while I might like to think consistent devotions are a matter of spirituality and discipline they may be more about solitude and the absence of other desires.
Being with my girls, their husbands, and my grandchildren is such a blessing. But with the time zone change, we have some west coast toddlers without much regard for Hawaiian time. Thus, our days together, and I mean together together, start early . . . and I mean early early. But the rewards of grandson huggle time are great . . . and I mean great great! However, while fitting in a few minutes of reading time isn’t that hard, time at the keyboard can be a bit more challenging . . . and thus more sporadic.
This morning, though, it’s still quiet here (praise God for the discovery of a playground within walking distance that’s empty at dawn . . . and I mean dawn dawn) and so I’m chewing on David’s life in light of a book I just finished about someone else’s life.
The memoir I read was by someone who was quite influential in my life back in the ’80’s through a book he wrote. Didn’t know much about the man then except for the bio on the back cover and whatever I imagined his life to be like based on the thoughts and experiences he shared. In a nutshell, I imagined him to be a spiritual powerhouse, yet, after reading his memoir, his life, in many respects, was one train wreck after another–personal failure, family tragedy, repeated brokenness. And yet, the enduring under-current is one of faith, one of redemption, and one of God’s amazing grace in, repeatedly, making beauty out of ashes.
Kind of like King David’s life.
To be honest, I’m not really a big fan of the latter chapters of 2Samuel. Heroes and happy endings are supplanted by clay feet and family dysfunction. Starting with David’s sin with Bathsheba, just like the memoir I read, it’s just a series of train wrecks.
As if adultery and murder weren’t enough, then there’s incestual rape, murderous revenge, passive, ineffective leadership, and treacherous rebellion. All resulting in today’s reading (2Samuel 14-15) where David flees Jerusalem trying to ensure that his son’s coup remains a bloodless one (can’t wait until tomorrow’s reading. Heavy sigh!)
Yet such are the people, the families, and the situations that remind us of a sin-corrupted world, God determines to use for His purposes and His glory. Just like the memoir I read. Reflective I’m thinking, to some degree, of our own lives.
Maybe that’s why something else I read this morning resounded so loudly.
So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abrahams offspring, heirs according to promise.
(Galatians 3:24-29 ESV)
Our Savior became a curse to redeem us from the curse of train wreck lives (Gal. 3:13).
As such, our standing before Him is not dependent upon how much we have our act together, or can keep it together. Instead, we are justified by faith–and faith alone.
And despite sorrows, sufferings, and tragic situations–some of our own making, others not–we remain children of God because of that faith–and that faith alone.
What’s more, the balances of our lives, those we tend to look at to weigh the good, the bad, and the ugly, at the end of the day really mean very little for “if you are Christ’s, then you are . . . heirs according to promise.” Not according to our performance, not according to other’s approval and praise, not according to our view of what the perfect life should look like . . . but according to His promise. And that too, we cling to, and rest in, by faith alone.
Overwhelmed this morning by God’s grace and the people He uses–people like me–for His glory.
Hallelujah! What a Savior!