Today, despite the bitter cold, I am so grateful for snow!
In the midst of this journey of obedience - or lack of it - that I am on, the Lord reminded my heart of the completeness of His forgiveness. I got off track. I rebelled. I heard His Voice and yet I gave in to the lusts of the flesh. Beyond enjoying a Christmas treat or two, I devoured one sugary food after another in a vain attempt to comfort myself as I miss my dad and to console myself in the vicious cycle of binging and then condemnation. The result - fatigue and uncontrolled emotions.
Last week, the Lord, in His graciousness, took me to the story of the Prodigal in Luke 15. I heard His Words with my head but they bounced off my heart! "When he came to himself" the son realized that there was complete provision with his Father. He said, "I will get up and go to my father and I will say to Him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and in Your sight. I am no longer worthy to be called Your son..." So he got up and came to his Father. But while he was still a long way off, his Father saw him and was moved with pity and tenderness for him; and He ran and embraced him and kissed him fervently... The Lord runs to meet us when we turn our eyes towards home.
His Father quickly called for the best robe (the festive robe of honor) and the ring for his hand and sandals for his feet. Here's where I refused the story line. That's what the Lord wanted to do for me but in my self-loathing (which is really just another form of pride - frustration because I can't seem to do for myself) I refused the robe of righteousness, the ring that symbolizes His authority to act as His child and to have my feet fit with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace (see Ephesians 6). I rejected His offer - even subconsciously - and remained in squalor.
I've felt so lost! Instead of living free, I've been whining and wishing for things to be different. Finally, this morning, His love broke through my haze. I was outside shovelling snow. The air was crisp and clear and a velvety white carpet covered the ground. All of the sudden, I found myself marvelling at the beauty. The Lord spoke, "Come now, and let us reason together, says the Lord. Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be like wool." Isaiah 1:18.
Yes, just like the ground under the snow, I was covered in dirt. The effects of life had got me dirty but Christ's righteousness covers me as with a beautiful white robe. His covering makes me white as snow. The Lord invited me to reason it out with Him. The price for my righteousness had already been paid. Receive the robe, Karrie. Live as a child of the King!
That's why Christ came to earth that first Christmas. He came "to bring good news to the poor... to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed... to tell those who mourn that the time of the Lord’s favor has come... To all who mourn in Israel, He will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for His own glory." Isaiah 61:1-3
Once again, the Lord has brought about the promise for which this blog is named...
I call to the LORD, who is worthy of praise... the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me... In my distress I called to the LORD; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears... He reached down from on high and took hold of me; He drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me... He brought me out into a spacious place; He rescued me because he delighted in me. (from Psalm 18)
Thank You for the snow this morning, Lord! Make mine a white Christmas, Jesus!