If you, O LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared. I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning. -Psalm 130: 4-6
I used to work nights at a hospital. Waiting for the morning is waiting for rest. Finally. With anticipation and longing and fatigue.
I don't work nights anymore, but I'm waiting for rest too. When I start to get bogged down in the weight of my fallenness, and the fallenness all around me, and get my eyes off the watch for the rest and on the trying to make rest out of the labor I'm in, I tend to loose sight of the point. The point isn't my iniquities or anyone elses. The point is the tremendous mercy of the Son. The Son who I wait for to give me the rest from this struggle to stand. Who will rise like the dawn one day. With Him there is forgiveness. He is my only hope.
In studying Tamar, we marked her iniquity and wondered why the Lord didn't. Didn't she do something immoral and wrong? In studying Rahab, we marked her iniquity and wondered why the Lord didn't. Didn't she lie? We tried to figure out what to do with these women's sins. But the point wasn't their sin. Who hasn't sinned? Who hasn't lied? Who hasn't manipulated? Who hasn't acted or thought immorally? The point isn't our sin. If that was the point God marked out on us, none of us would stand. The point was and is God's mercy. The point is the greatness of God's forgiveness.
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins... But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ--by grace you have been saved-- so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. -Ephesians 2:1,4,5,7
One day, when I stand before Him, it's not the mark of my iniquities that will stand out. Those will be totally washed out by the immeasurable riches of His grace. I won't be pointing out the sins I see in others (but am so blind to in myself). I'll be basking in the warmth of the rest of the mercy and grace that has saved me.
When I look at my sin and the requirements that I fail to meet and begin trying to make those less by doing more I miss the point. No doubt I fail, daily. No doubt you do too. No doubt none of us can say we have no wrong in us. None of us can say we have hit the mark of God's glory with our lives. Our hope is not in being iniquity-free. Our hope is being forgiven. And with the Lord there is forgiveness.
I sat down to write out the theme and characters for the novel idea I have working in my head. I don't know. This will most likely never be read by anyone other than my dear friend who will be kind enough to give it a read and let me know what she thinks in a very kind way. But, even if it's never read and its a total lemon, I'm excited about it. So far I have characters and inspiration from A Christmas Carol, It's a Wonderful Life, and The Family Man. And no, it's not a Christmas-themed novel. It's a get-a-little-perspective-themed novel. I think its self-therapy.