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Jonah 2:8 NIV
[8] “Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs.

I certainly was a forfeiter of grace, as I clung to the idol of Self. Of the temple of Self I was primary priest, deacon and parishioner, obeying every whim and desire, indulging each and every craving. Though I never bowed or prayed to Self, I served it diligently, even neglecting the God of Heaven and Earth in its preference.

Grace comes to those who make mistakes though they have learned their lesson, but to the rebellious comes correction, often in the form of hardship and consequence. While I pumped myself full of any food I wanted, the consequences built up without mercy around my waistline, my arteries, my gastric system, my knee cartilage, and finally my ligaments. The messages of discipline were loud and clear, but I did not hear them. Occasionally, I was confronted with the words of a medical prophet, “repent of your eating and sloth, and return to health,” but I refused to hear them. I ignored some, fired a few, and tried to surround myself with doctors who would tell me what I wanted to hear, but none gave me permission to serve Self in the manner of my choosing.

A good Father He is indeed who refuses to relent until His son learns the lesson of his predicament and repents of his ways. The prodigal may not have tasted failure until he tasted it at the floor of the swine pen, denying his circumstances until arriving at such a low.

Thank You, dear Father, for pursuing me to the end of my rebellion, for buying me back at such a high price even while I was such a mess, and for giving me grace while I am content to live within the abundance of Your provision. Help me to apply the grace I have received to those around me, that You may be glorified.

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