Saturday, March 5, 2011


“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angles, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophesy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.” 1 Cor. 13:1-3

This passage, well read and seemingly cliche in some ways, has recently left a spiritual bruise. Love is oft spoken of, but scarcely lived…at least in my heart. I speak only for myself, but I find that I am the one to be inflicting wounds more often than I find myself in the place of the one binding them up. Over the past week, the subject of a true, holy love undefiled by selfish ambition has been a reoccurring theme. The Spirit’s soft words of exhortation prod as, little by little, more of the truth is shed in my heart. An extreme wake-up came in the form of the following quote, which I received from a friend:

“If a sudden jar can cause me to speak an impatient, unloving word, than I know nothing of Calvary’s love. For a cup brimful of sweet water cannot spill even one drop of bitter water, however suddenly jolted.” -Amy Carmichael

Think of it! If I am filled with Christ just as scripture promises, nothing more can show. Sweet water remains sweet –it cannot be anything but true to its nature. It is impossible for anything to have more than one nature, for the essence and the nature of something are one in the same; no thing can have more than one essence. I am dead; my life is hid with Christ in God. That is my essence: stripped of all that was; filled and transformed with something new and purely holy...thrice holy, in fact. And that is all that can leak out of me, no matter what the world does or says. I am HIS vassal, and nothing (neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature) can change that.
That being said, I am faced with the choice every other human faces: Live by the Spirit, or don’t. Live as though I am dead to gain what I cannot loose, or don’t. Let the word of Christ dwell richly in me, or not. It is my choice. That is where sweetness turns bitter. Is it technically possible for one who is filled with Christ to show forth sin? No. Do I still do it? Absolutely. But I have the power to change, if only I will surrender. There is really no other choice because, as 1 Corinthians 13 says, without charity, I am nothing.
The bare and simple truth in its most stripped condition is this:
No matter what anyone says, sweet water cannot be bitter, even for a moment. If I truly have the mind of Christ, love is the only possible reaction. When I am ‘roughly jolted’, it ought to bless other people. If I understand every other word in the Bible, and fail at this, I am worthless, and having love is more important than sacrificing my body to be burned for the sake of what I believe in.
By God’s grace, I, as a Christian young woman, ought to be known for my love. It ought to be on my worst days that the people around me feel most loved and considered. I ought to remain sweet, even while all around me is bitter darkness.
Of one thing I am certain…this is impossible. But I am also certain of my God. You see, I have a God who paid for every one of my multitude of sins, a God who lived in flesh perfectly for my sake, and a God who has made all things possible by the power of His grace and might. He is the one who is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and He has promised never to leave, nor forsake me. I will close this entry with the inspiring words of Rhino, the hamster –a movie character: “The impossible can become possible if… you… are… AWESOME!” I shall tweak it a little and put it in my own words: “The impossible can become possible if your God is AWESOME!” And mine is.

No comments:

Post a Comment