Tuesday, October 14, 2008

いち ゼロ ろく

Today I read a Psalm (in line with the one-Psalm-a-day policy I've been trying to follow), and it really seems to be a parallel to my life. As in the title (for those of you that don't read Japanese), the Psalm in question is 106, and it was like a crash course in history for the nation of Israel during the Exodus, which is really quite a common theme.

However, because this history was nicely summarized in today's Psalm, it started to seem very similar to what I am going through. Not sure how to explain it, but I'll try. See, if you read the books of Exodus to Joshua, that takes quite a long time. And you'll read so much about the Israelites, about what they were doing, about how they lived... in fact, you will get inundated by the details, so it becomes very much a story about them, with you as an observer.

On the other hand, when it is so neatly summarized into 48 verses, it becomes a lot easier to notice that what the Israelites were doing/going through seems suspiciously familiar. And I'm not talking about going through trials and tribulations (though they did).

Essentially, what the Psalm is talking about is the cycle of sin and faithlessness that the descendants of Jacob had with regard to God. The beginning was praise to God, but then the Psalmist starts talking about how the Israelites always forget the goodness that God has shown to them.

As I have mentioned, this is very much like what I'm going through on a regular basis. As a Christian, I should be completely free from sin, and living a life that is pleasing to God. Yet, for too many times, I have chosen to neglect God, or to turn away from His advice, to choose to go my own ways, and do what I want, even though it is obviously abhorrent to Him.

Each time, I try to promise to not do it again. But too often, I start sliding back down into the depths that God has pulled me out from. Too often, I forget what He has done for me, how He rescued me, how He has blessed me, and I turn back to the sludge of sin. Too often, I have made a mockery of my faith. As my Lord tries to release me from my chains, I try to put them back on again.

And honestly, I am like crap. I have a God who willingly died to set me free, and offered me salvation. I have a God who is supremely powerful, yet exceedingly patient with my failings. He is the Creator of the Universe, but He also has enough time to listen to me whenever I call on His name.

Even though I only call on His name when I need His help, He quickly comes to save me. If someone only turned to me when they needed me for help, I would be pretty pissed. But Jesus just picks me up, washes me clean, and sets me on my feet again.

And this is what verse 44-46 is all about. He hears my cry to Him, and He answers.

This is what gives me hope. Reminding that He is still there, and will always be there for me.

I long for the day when I can repay His everlasting kindness by living in a way that pleases Him. It will never match the value of the gift He has given to me, but I wish just to show Him that His confidence in me is not misplaced. It sounds theologically incorrect, I know, to repay God, but it is not about me 'buying' my salvation.

Right now, I really want to just make my Father happy.

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