Archive for November, 2011
Today was my final Bible study session on the life of Paul. Ephesians 2:8-10 was the text for the video session. I heard something I had never heard before – or perhaps had heard and forgotten.
Eph. 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
The original Greek word for “workmanship” is poeima…and as it was spelled out and I wrote it down, the beauty of that word fell over me.
Literally, I am God’s poem. He is the Master Poet and I am his beautiful poem. His sonnet. His ode. For someone like me, who sings poetry rather than writes or reads it, I am His song. His beautiful, exquisite, tender love song. His song that He is writing day by day and singing over me with joy.
I can’t tell you what this does for me inside. I can’t tell you how much this means. I can’t tell you the joy and comfort this brings, and how deeply it humbles me. I can’t tell you how grateful this makes me, and how unworthy and undeserving I feel. But it’s true. It’s right there in black and white, signed with the blood of Jesus Himself. I am His song.
Me. Little old me. No one special. No one famous. I’m not especially good at anything, and I have a lot of faults, and I don’t always finish what I start and I let people down all the time. In the grand scheme of things I’m not really that great. Most of the world doesn’t even know I exist. Most of the world didn’t know when I arrived and won’t really care when I depart this life. But despite all that, God thinks I’m worth it. I am His song.
The session closed with the truth that “one day, all the lines will rhyme.” For me, I say, “one day, all the harmonies will be complete.” What God has begun is a simple melody line that is incomplete. One day I will get to hear that song with all the layers of rich harmony and dynamics and articulation and artistry and expression. It will be a beautiful opus of His love for me, love that tells my story from beginning to end. My story. His song. I can’t wait to hear it.
Today I finished up my study on the life of Paul. What an amazing story. For the first time, I really saw Paul for the human being he was. I actually felt sad to come to the conclusion of his life’s story.
I confess, I had fallen several days behind. But knowing that I had copy duty at Trey’s middle school today I took my study with me. God blessed me with lots of time as I waited for 520 copies of 14 originals, copied front-to-back, collated, stapled… plus several “3 sets of 150 of 3 originals, copied front-to-back, collated, stapled” and a few “100 copies of 12 originals stacked, no staples”. I got completely caught up and then some. In fact, I became so immersed in my study that I was surprised to discover teardrops falling onto my page as I read about Paul’s final days. As Paul pleaded with Timothy for companionship and comfort in that miserable final imprisonment, I found my heart hurting for him…feeling his loneliness, bearing the emotional pain of being abandoned by those who had once been so close to him, cringing at the humiliation he endured, and longing with him for comfort and encouragement.
And it was in that dark cell, when all of what was familiar and comfortable had been stripped – literally – away, that Paul was able to say with absolute confidence: “I am convinced He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.” The only thing he had to cling to was his faith. The only foundation he had to stand upon was his God. The only sure thing he could count on was his salvation. The only comfort he could wrap around his cold, dirty, beaten body was the presence of God Himself. A God he knew. A God who was as real to him in that prison cell as you and I are today. A God who was faithful to bring his servant safely home.
My study guide closed with the following. It was a message I desperately needed to hear and one that I hope will encourage you, wherever you are in your faith journey:
He is able to guard every single thing you have entrusted to Him. Never will you choose to believe or trust, then be forsaken. (emphasis mine) He is keeping every record, every scroll, every trust. You may walk in faith and never see with your human eyes how trustworthy He really is until that day you come face-to-face. But you can know the One in whom you believe and be convinced He is able. You have not been foolish to trust an invisible God. One day you’ll see. (Beth Moore: To Live is Christ)