Learning the unforced rhythms of grace


Remember Who He is

Last week I conquered the recipe for Edo teriyaki chicken - just like the little place in the mall we like to go to. I took great care to stir-fry the veggies, make the rice and the secret sauce - to perfection. Then . . . I called everyone to come eat. I was pretty excited!

But here's the thing, everyone was in the middle of something and couldn't come quite yet. They were studying or on their way out the door to coach a team, run errands . . .  So I looked at the perfectly timed dinner and realized, it's gonna get soggy. I had a plate of it myself and quite enjoyed it, but felt a little grieved for how it would be for the second shift of dinner-eaters.

A few hours later, when people returned from here and there, they energetically piled on the mass of food onto their plates, heated it up and downed it in seconds. "Thanks" they said, "that was good!" 

And I realized, who am I kidding? These are 6'5" young men, who although can enjoy a well-made meal, will eat, almost anything, anytime and are grateful for it. If I remembered who they were . . . then I may have felt a little more free to cook and let it go.

This thought stayed with me as I read Hebrews this week. I wondered if my prayers reflect who God really is. Do I remember who I'm praying to? Do I see God accurately or do I have some skewed expectation of who He is and how He will respond to me? Do I remember His character? His unconditional love? That He is for me, not against me?

"God means what he says. What he says goes. His powerful Word is sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubt or defense, laying us open to listen and obey. Nothing and no one is impervious to God’s Word. We can’t get away from it—no matter what. Now that we know what we have—Jesus, this great High Priest with ready access to God—let’s not let it slip through our fingers. We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all—all but the sin. So let’s walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help." Hebrews 4:12-16 (The Message)

"Earlier there were a lot of priests, for they died and had to be replaced. But Jesus’ priesthood is permanent. He’s there from now to eternity to save everyone who comes to God through him, always on the job to speak up for them. So now we have a high priest who perfectly fits our needs: completely holy, uncompromised by sin, with authority extending as high as God’s presence in heaven itself. Unlike the other high priests, he doesn’t have to offer sacrifices for his own sins every day before he can get around to us and our sins. He’s done it, once and for all: offered up himself as the sacrifice. The law appoints as high priests men who are never able to get the job done right. But this intervening command of God, which came later, appoints the Son, who is absolutely, eternally perfect." Hebrews 7:23-28 (The Message)

May our prayers and conversations with God reflect that we know Him. Let's take Him up on His offer for mercy, and help and comfort and guidance and forgiveness. Let's remember who He is.