Snapshots: Day 23
The Snapshot: “Abraham said…. she is my sister”. Half-truths reveal a fear in me of the situation before me. Abimelek is a threat, and life is full of threats. Abraham is a giant of faith, this friend of God, and yet he continues to balk in the face of trials. Yet God never gives up on him. Working out God’s will is not about me doing it perfectly but about me learning along the way and if Abraham is anything to go by, not being given up by God, and certainly not me giving up on Him. If only I could always get it right all the time, but I don’t. How much upset it would avoid. And yet every time after I come back to Him with pleas for forgiveness, I find His loving arms there, still welcoming me and I am melted by His love. How wonderful you are, Lord. Thank you so much.
Further Consideration: The person who has grown up in a loving and secure home, and who has experienced good parenting, knows that:
- the parent knows a child only develops and learns in slow stages and
- is still loved while they are clearly still ‘early-learners’ and
- are not rebuked when they are learning imperfectly and
- will grow as their repeat their attempts and improve on them, and
- their parents are completely for them, rooting for their success,
delighting in them when they take their first tentative steps.
It is important to remember these basic things about ‘growing up’. I marvel again and again when I read the Gospels, when Jesus often chided his disciples for their ‘little faith’ (e.g. Mt 8:26, 14:31, 16:8, 17:20) and yet he never gave up on them. He didn’t say on that occasion when he had to rebuke Peter with a “Get behind me Satan,” (Mt 16:23), “That’s it Peter, I’m benching you for 6 months. You can stay in town while I take the others out on the trail.” He never did that, he never gave up on Peter despite his many blunders. In fact, even knowing Peter had denied him three times, in that famous chapter 21 of John’s Gospel, he lays on Peter the responsibility of leading the church after he had ascended to heaven. Amazing!
I don’t know about you, but the biggest problem I have is not giving up when I’ve failed. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve said, “Lord, I’m sorry, I’ve blundered again, I can’t do this stuff, I want to give up and go and grow tomatoes in some quiet part of the country.” But that is self-centred and forgets we are what we are because He has called us to it, He equips us for it, and He knows that, like Abraham, there are going to be repeat failures, because we are slow to learn. Then I read of the disciples being chided by Jesus for not learning after two miraculous feedings (see Mt 16:8-12) and I remember I am in good company, and us learners have got to stick together!