"God is rest, and where He dwells is stillness."
-Freda Hanbury Allen

Monday, February 22, 2016

Christ Life

                                              "Christ...Who is your life..." Colossians 3:4a        

        We aren't enough. We're too much. We struggle. We compensate. We justify. We buckle under the weight of what we can't be, should be, want to be, are scared to become. We run. We hide. We want to be noticed - but not seen, otherwise our cover would be blown. We fight. We wrestle. We lose. We win, claiming all the spoils. We step out boldly - only to find the limb we've climbed out on shaking precariously, so we shrink quietly away. We speak truth, but our voices sound hollow in our own ears. We declare victory, glorying in our strength, then fall hard - blindsided by our frailty and failure. We are broken, yet yearn to be whole. We are sinners, yet long to be holy.
Where do we find rest for our souls, weary from the jagged edges of brokenness, good intentions, and promises that we know we won't ever keep? How do we live in this space called "life", while waiting for our real life yet to come?
        There is paradox evident in failure and victory. While both seem to be polar opposites, and failure seems the least desirable of the two, left to ourselves they both lead to the destructive end of pride and self-absorption. Thus the endless swinging pendulum of our inner lives between thinking too much of ourselves in our victories and, ironically, too much of ourselves in our failures. Somehow we are stuck with ourselves either way; tripped up, bloodied and bruised and wondering how to ever be free. Where is that rest that Jesus promised? Why does it seem so elusive in our day-to-day lives?
        Christ. He died for our sin, for our failure, for our inability to do anything good. He died for our reconciliation, for our justification - that we might be declared righteous in Him. His death has become our death - to sin. His obedience to death has become our obedience. His goodness has become our goodness. His victory is our victory. His life is our life, because when he died and when he rose again we died with him and we rose with him. We no longer live, but Christ lives in us. So, in those moments our flesh prevails and we fall, we know that is not who we are and we know whose we are. In those moments that we fail, we know that He has nailed our sin and failures to the cross, and has nailed our shame with them, so we don't have to run or hide. When we shout in victory and raise our hands in triumph we know that it is the Lord who has won, not us, because we know that apart from him we are and have nothing. He has taken our sin and he has declared us victors with him. So we have nothing to hide and nothing to claim in ourselves. Christ has taken the ugly and given us his beauty. There is no room for pride or self absorption in our frailty or our strength when we believe and walk in the truth of what Christ has done for us and in us. It is only the eternal beauty of Christ living in us and shining through us by His Spirit that we claim.
        Christ. He is our life - now, and our only real life forever. Heaven is only heaven because Christ is there. What we long for, and are waiting eagerly for, we have been granted a taste of, through the Spirit of Christ. Christ is our rest and His Spirit our freedom. It is His life through His Spirit living in our hearts that stops the swinging pendulum.      

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