A small flame

A small flame

when past-echos drown out the sound of now

They take us by surprise when they come.

They look like friends - how could we suspect what would come next? How their smiles hid the poison of harshness? That the same lips that had nourished us with words of friendship and God would now spew the bitter gall of words destructive. Steel-toed words that kicked us down and left us bleeding and broken.

My mind has struggled hard to comprehend the loss of what I thought I knew. My heart has mourned the loss with groans too deep for words. My spirit has long lain fetal-curled, straining to hear the faint murmur of the Father's heart . . . "I know the plans I have for you . . . plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope."

All that is in the past, and yet in the manner of all deep hurts, it is sometimes very much present. Forgiveness has been hard-won, but it is no magic wand. It cannot withdraw the word-weapons already thrust deep. There are still days - weeks even - when the false, cruel words echo loud in my mind and my heart cowers in fear that they are somehow true after-all.

These past months, we memorize Romans 8 with our new Body; say the next verse every Sunday. And it is these words of promise that I say to myself; whisper-shout them to drown out the past-echos:

Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised— who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. {Romans 8:33-34}

Giving thanks in this moment

. . . . for whiter than snow

Psalm 51:7 - Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

. . . . for work begun,
and guaranteed to be completed

Philippians 1:6 - I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

. . . . for inseparable Abba-love

Romans 8:38, 39 - For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

. . . . for the Judge's gavel ringing out my verdict:

Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

. . . . for nail-pierced hands,
engraved with my name

Isaiah 49:16 - Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands

. . . . for being His chosen, predestined, adopted daughter

Ephesians 1:4-6 - He chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace

. . . . for mercy

A debtor to mercy alone
Of covenant mercy I sing
I come with Your righteousness on
My humble offering to bring
The judgments of Your holy law
With me can have nothing to do
My Savior’s obedience and blood
Hide all my transgressions
From view

The work which Your goodness began
The arm of Your strength will complete
Your promise is yes and amen
And never was forfeited yet
The future or things that are now
No power below or above
Can make You Your purpose forgo
Or sever my soul from Your love

My name from the palms of Your hands
Eternity will not erase
Impressed on Your heart it remains
In marks of indelible grace
Yes I, to the end will endure
Until I bow down at Your throne
Forever and always secure
Forever and always secure
Forever and always secure
A debtor to mercy alone

A Debtor to Mercy

- Bob Kauflin &
Augustus Toplad

{Sovereign Grace}

1 comment:

Craig said...

I’m here from Ann’s today.

First – the past never stays past – it becomes present – your outlook on this is splendid.

My favorite from your thankful list is this one …

. . . . for inseparable Abba-love (because no matter how we struggle to be free sometimes – he always holds us and will never let go – so much peace in that)

Oh, and Happy Valentine’s Day.

God Bless and Keep you and your family