Saturday, March 29, 2014

By Grace Only

Hi.  My name is Sheila.  I am a human being.  I am an adult.  I am a child of God.

I am blessed beyond belief.  I am learning, I am growing, I am changing, I am maturing - all by God's grace.  I experience wonder, I experience pain, I experience joy, sorrow, challenge, strife, frustration, anger, peace, love, fear, patience - all experienced by my Creator.  I live.  I will always live!

When moments tempt me to wish for what someone else has and I feel that pang of longing for what cannot be or is not yet, for what may or may not ever be, for all that I feel created for, I throw myself at the feet of that One who knows all before I ever express it, and the puddle of heart-tears melts His heart and I can rest.

But it is odd to realize that you don't quite expect your next birthday the way you used to.  It is surprising to touch my face and discover little reminders of deep thought, great laughter, and fervent weeping.  I suppose these years already are full.

My days are becoming fuller, swollen with the tasks a child never thinks of, but the years are becoming shorter.

Strange as it may seem, death is coming closer.  Threescore and ten is being eked of my frail life-stuff, too.

So often I'll be walking from one place to another, wondering how it's possible that I am here and that I am so blessed.  And then I realize all at once, that the little things I'm blessed with are gifts, gifts to spur me on to use wisely those seventy-odd years.  That little gust of damp air, the budding green, the birdsong, the feet I have to use, the hair that grows on my head, the books I have to read, the fellowship of loved ones, and other unexpected joys... their purpose is not necessarily immediately evident.

For I am determined to win souls to eternal Joy.

And I am determined never to forget or cease to notice those little blessings, for no matter how cold the cell, I have a heart that beats until He chooses to stop it.  No matter how dry the ground, there is an earth to live on.  No matter how scarce the food, there is always air to breathe.  No matter how bleak the winter, there are always memories to feast upon.

And so I sing:

Oh, to see the dawn
Of the darkest day:
Christ on the road to Calvary.
Tried by sinful men,
Torn and beaten, then
Nailed to a cross of wood

This, the power of the cross:
Christ became sin for us;
Took the blame,
Bore the wrath-
We stand forgiven
At the cross

Oh, to see the pain
Written on Your face,
Bearing the awesome weight of.
Every evil deed
Crowning Your
Bloodstained brow

Now the daylight flees;
Now the ground beneath
Quakes as its Maker
Bows His head.
Curtain torn in two,
Dead are raised to life;
"Finished!" the victory cry.

Oh to see my name
Written in the wounds,
For through Your suffering
I am free.
Death is crushed to death,
Life is mine to live,  (No, His!!!)
Won through Your
Selfless love.

This, the power of the cross:
Son of God--Slain for us.
What a love!  What a cost!
We stand forgiven
At the cross.

- Sheila

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