"For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth." ~ Deuteronomy14:2

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Pleasant Stone Devotional Meditation: August 1

“Then I said, I have labored in vain, I have spent my strength for nought, and in vain: yet surely my judgment is with the Lord, and my work with my God” ~ Isaiah 49:4

Here is a “purple stone” verse dear to my own heart and by God’s grace, I mean never again to be deceived by my own failures. Anyone can fail. Anyone can weep in despair at an apparently wasted effort. But God longs to wipe away these tears too and to teach us one of His loveliest lessons as He does so. “… my judgment is with the Lord, and my work with my God.”

Nothing is ever wasted in the presence of Jesus Christ. Not even work which has failed. We cannot repeat too often that He is a redeemer and His every intention toward us is redemptive. We have often been reminded that Jesus was a “failure” too as far as the world knew. Our own self preoccupation causes us to forget this, however, and when our work seems in vain, we suffer foolish but very real pain over it. His identification with us is absolutely complete. He has already identified Himself with your even seeming failure. But there the paradox of the Gospel is its glory. Our failures can become our victories.

This truth broke upon my conscious one night as I stood alone leaning my head wearily against the wall of an inquiry room after I had spoken in a beautiful new church on the west coast. I knew my message had fallen flat. And wilting there against the wall, I cried in my heart: “Lord, forgive me for failing You!”

Then I smiled suddenly and said: “All right, forgive me for asking You to forgive me. Just take over and make something lovely out of it.” He did. I have “failed” since, however, when nothing at all seemed to happen. We are not to look for signs. We are to look at Jesus. Not at ourselves.

“… In the shadow of his hand hath he hid me, and made me a polished shaft; in his quiver hath he hid me.”

No comments: