“Nothing humbles and breaks the heart of a sinner
like mercy and love.
Souls that converse much with sin and wrath,
may be much terrified;
but souls that converse much with grace and mercy,
will be much humbled.”
~ ~Thomas Brooks (1608 – 1680) ~
When we come face-to-face with our own brokenness, we can either turn all of that pain and fear inward, or we can confront it, bring it before our loving Heavenly Father, and be forgiven. The consequences of our choice in this matter will have lifelong implications for all of our future relationships. The world is full of hurting people who have chosen to hide their breaking hearts behind a facade of pride and arrogance. They clamour for more and more chaos in their efforts to drown out the terror that comes with a life of sin. No matter how elegant or sophisticated their lives appear to everyone around them, there is always a darkness that lurks just around the next corner and a loneliness that permeates every silent second as they are searching for peace. But they are looking in all the wrong places.
Have you ever known a person who just seemed to stir up chaos, confusion, and trouble wherever they went? These are people who have a need for conflict, drama, and ongoing contention. It is as if they wander through life (usually they really don't have too much direction in terms of setting and achieving goals or accomplishing anything in particular), and never take the time to glance over their shoulder to see all of the destruction that their chaos has caused in the lives of others. They just go on their way, tossing "hand grenades" over their shoulder, and walk on whistling a tune while everyone and everything in their path is being "blown up." There was a character in the "Peanuts" comic strip years ago, named "Pigpen," who always had a cloud of dust and debris swirling out behind him wherever he went. Perhaps Pigpen was just kind of messy, and created lots of clutter everywhere he went. But he reminded me of people who are so afraid of looking directly in the face of truth, and doing what is necessary to correct their sinful ways, that they create all kinds of distractions for themselves as well as for everyone around them.
Living a life in which we "converse much with sin and wrath" is a fearful place to be. God offers us the mercy, grace, and forgiveness to break the bonds of sin, and the "terror" that accompanies that lifestyle, so why do so many of us choose instead to hide behind our masks of pretense? Perhaps it is the fear of feeling the pain of our breaking heart when we truly acknowledge our sin, and a fear of being humbled by God's mercy and love. Is it pride that keeps us from admitting the truth, that we are, all of us, sinful and unworthy of His great gift of salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ? Is it a spirit of arrogance that tells us we don't need God's love and forgiveness? And if we truly believe that we are "good enough" without God's merciful gifts, then why are we so miserable when we claim our own righteousness?
The human spirit is capable of such amazing, generous, loving, and sacrificial acts of grace . . . . . but the human spirit is also capable of the most horrific and degraded acts of violence. It is only when we seek the truth, the whole truth, about our lives here in this finite world, that we can begin to see the destruction that awaits us if we choose to turn away from God's gracious gift of mercy and forgiveness. Look around you, this truth is evident on the faces of people everywhere. Why do they keep hiding behind their masks when they could come out into the sunshine of freedom from fear in the presence of our all-loving, all-knowing, and all-forgiving Heavenly Father? I'm planning to keep sweeping up all that dust that I've left behind me, and keep walking towards the Light of His Love. I hope you'll come along with me on this journey!
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come. All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. . . . . we implore you, on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." 2 Corinthians 5:17 -21
If you would like to participate with the other bloggers this week at "In Other Words," please visit Twinkle Mom at Sunflower Faith. You can read her post and then visit the other participants. Then, if you would like to post your thoughts about this quote, please leave a link back to YOUR blog so we can come by and visit you. Have a great Tuesday!