But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. -- 1 Corinthians 15:10
Thursday, April 23, 2015
When Popeye Met Jesus
This will brief, a kind of continuation or riff on yesterday’s post. If what Paul says is true – and it is, then the error of self and the world system in general is trying to be something other than what we are by the grace of God. We fall when we resist God’s grace. It is as the drowning man who is so panicked that he fights his rescuer. We can get on the train and ride, or, we can stand in front of it and try to stop it.
We can trust God and believe that He is actively involved in and with us, or we can become bitter and resentful. There’s a difference that the world often misses – I’ve missed it as a Christian – between resistance and resentment. I can resist evil without becoming resentful.
I recall a line in True Grit where Tom Chaney laments, “Everything happens to me, and now I'm shot by a child!” It is a powerful insight into the weakness in Chaney’s character. There are many times when I have not done much better. If we allow ourselves to always be aggrieved and offended by the troubles that come our way, we are never going to become the people God wants us to be. We overcome not by umbrage and anger, or even excess spinach consumption, but by faith and trust, by resting in Him. As Isaiah 30:15 says: For thus said the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel, In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.