Everett has been sick for the past few day so yesterday I took him to the clinic. Having nothing to do drives me crazy, so I took along a book; Discovering the Character of God by George MacDonald. If you haven’t heard of MacDonald then let me tell you that his fantasy works heavily influenced both C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. But he was also a man of strong faith and I wanted to share a few things I read yesterday that I found meaningful.
“It is true that Jesus came, in delivering us from our sins, to deliver us also from the painful consequences of our sins. But these consequences exist by the one law of the universe, the true will of God. When that will is broken, suffering is inevitable.
But in the perfection of God’s creation, the result of that suffering is curative. the pain works toward the healing of the breach.
The Lord never came to deliver men from the consequences of their sins while those sins yet remained. that would be to cast out the window the medicine of cure while still the man lay sick. Yet feeling nothing of the dread hatefulness of their sin, men have constantly taken this word that the Lord came to deliver us from to sins to mean that he came to save them from the punishment of their sins…and save us from hell. But in that they have misrepresented his true mission.
The mission of Jesus was from the same source and with the same object as the punishment of our sins. He came to do more than take the punishment for our sins. he came as well to set u f free from our sins.
No man shall be condemned for any or all of his sins that are past. He needs not dread remaining unforgiven even for the worst of them. the sin he dwells in, the sin he will not come out of – that is the sole ruin of a man. His present, his live, sins – those pervading his thoughts and ruling his conduct, the sins he keeps doing and will not give up, the sins he is called to abandon and clings to – these are they for which he is even at this moment condemned. “This is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.”
It is the sin in our being – no essential part of it, thank God! – the miserable fact that we as a very child of God do not care for our Father and will not obey him, causing us to desire wrongly and act wrongly – this is what he came to deliver us from, not the things we have done, but the possibility of doing such things any more.”
I find those words so powerful and comforting and reassuring. Yes, I will continue to sin, because I’m human and imperfect, but my role as a child of God isn’t to be perfect, but to listen to and obey my Father. Thank you Jesus for your gift to us.