But now thus says the LORD, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. -- Isaiah 43:1
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Working Man Blues
It’s not an earworm. Brain Jig, maybe – it’s a recurring thought that I have or keep recognizing in what someone else says or some experience that I have. The reason I call it a jig is that things fit together in it.
Did you ever know a person who made everything more complicated and harder than it needed to be? Have you ever been that person? I can answer both questions in the affirmative. In a way, following Christ is challenging. It can be a serious struggle, day after day, and so it is described as a battle and race. Yet, Jesus calls to those who are “weary and heavy-laden” – some of us, as we talked about yesterday – and offers us rest and a lighter load to bear.
In fact, our battle is to step aside and let the battle be the Lord’s. We work hard to overcome the mindset of the world and enter the rest of Christ. For years, beginning long before I surrendered to that Holy Hunter who dogged my steps, my typical way of saying good-bye was to say, “Take it easy”. I still say it a lot. I might have originally picked it up from the Jackson Browne/Eagles song that played about once an hour on the AM radio in my orange Chevy back in ’72. It’s still good advice, but the paradox of fighting for peace remains true.
We are stuck working out our “own salvation with fear and trembling” while God is “working in [us], both to will and to act for His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:12-13). Every time I read that, I feel like saying, Make up your mind. Is it me, or is it God? And the answer is – Yes, that’s right. We will never enter Christ’s rest unless we work, and we will never work our way into His love and His grace.
We belong to the Lord. He calls us by name, and we bear His name. If I look at my inadequacy and my failures, I am afraid, and I feel that I need to try harder. Yet even I, as flawed and foolish as I am, I am accepted in Christ. Here is my Rock. Here I may stand, and the battle is to believe it.