Sometime last year, I was pouring my heart out into my journal, expressing my frustrations over my faults, foibles, sins, failures, stupidity, weirdness, etc… I have since then lost that particular journal. (Good Heavens! I hope no one finds it.) Anyway, I remember writing something along these lines, “Does God look down at me and shake His head when I stumble over the same stupid things again and again and again? Or does He look down at me in pity, knowing that I am but dust?” I already knew the answer to that question. I knew that the desires I had in my heart to do the will of God could have only been planted there by God. I knew that He knows how my failures to obey His will are some of my deepest griefs. He knows how I berate myself when I’m still not past some particular attitude or fear. He knows all, and unlike my fellow humans who might focus on the bad to the exclusion of all else, He sees the bad AND the good. He works away at the bad and is most pleased by the good. Mostly He knows my frame, and that I am but dust.
I have often lingered over Psalm 103 for this reason. “The Lord is merciful and gracious, low to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide: neither will He keep his anger forever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust. As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more. But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children.” (Psalm 103: 8-17)
He knows every last time I’ve failed Him, but He also knows every single time I’ve resisted temptation through His strength. He’s heard every harsh word I’ve spoken, but He’s also seen every little encouraging note I’ve written to friends in secret. He knows every time I’ve been frustrated with my family, and He also sees the love that He put there in my heart for them. He sees my lust and He sees my purity. He sees my laziness and He sees my industry. He sees my anger and my kindness. He sees my fear and my courage.
Don’t be mistaken. This is not a recitation of my good versus bad, an attempt to weigh the two to see which comes out on top. It only means that the good things have come direct from God, the bad things direct from me. It also means that He has not rewarded me according to my iniquities. He pities me because I fear Him, and gives me mercy because I need it. He has taken my sins and flung them far, far away, as far as the east is from the west. He loves me with a perfect love and He forgives with a perfect forgiveness, which never brings up the failures of the past to shove them in my face.
There are two things I really want. First, I know it is impossible to love with God’s perfect love, but I want my own love towards all the people in my life to look more and more like His. Second, I want all the people in my life to know this perfect love and this perfect forgiveness. If you want these things too, you know where to reach me. I’d be happy to talk to you about both.