At the risk of sounding redundant, there is but ONE Faithful and True. As we love and are loved by those who touch our lives, (our friends, our families, our pastors and teachers) it doesn’t take long to figure out that the ones we love most in all the world are also the same who have the greatest capacity to disappoint us, to break our hearts. It would be so easy then to become hardened and what a terrible, terrible shame that is. How do we find a healthy medium of unconditional love? We begin by setting our eyes heavenward and upon the One who calls Himself “Love.”
No matter where we are today, whether crawling desperately through the clutches of heartache or deep soul pain, or dancing care-free through a most blessed season of life, one thing remains true; We are, each and every one of us, in need of mercy and grace. The state of being we find ourselves in holds no bearing on that truth. We all need mercy. We all need grace. It is our common bond.
It is quite normal for us to seek out our most trusted friends when we are in need of a shoulder to lean on or when we wish to simply share our joys. And those of us who have family that we can call or lean upon at any hour are very fortunate. But regardless of the number of loved ones in any one person’s life, the need remains. We are all in need of mercy and grace.
It’s a great and wonderful thing to believe in such things as healing and deliverance, signs, miracles and wonders. In fact, the Word of God states quite plainly without room for misinterpretations that without faith, it is impossible to please God. However, to whom or what are we placing our faith or confidence? The Word of God also states plainly that those things follow those who follow Christ. Where are we keeping our eyes focused?
Hebrews 4:16 Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
In the fifth chapter of his gospel, John reiterates the story of the lame or “impotent” man who lay beside the pool of Bethesda. He lay there waiting for an angel to show up. But the angel who showed up at that pool to stir the healing waters showed up there only once per year. And when that angel did finally show up, people crowded the pool. The man was not only disappointed by the people around him, but he was disappointed even by an angel. Yet he lay there, all that time, thirty-eight years old, and he waited. He hoped. He believed. He relied. But was he relying upon people and angels and healing waters? Did he unknowingly set his own self up to be disappointed?
Who should show up on the scene but our own Faithful and True? What a lesson for us to learn! How many years of freedom could the man have experienced if he’d just gone first and foremost to the throne of grace? What troubles did he endure needlessly? But he didn’t go there first. His story does not change. We do not get the impression in that story that God added years to his life to make up for those in which he was bound. We have no reason to believe that he got a chance to relive those years.
But it’s never too late to take up our beds and walk, to walk in mercy and in grace with what days we have left. And it is never too late to thank God that we were held through the years it took us to finally turn our eyes away from the world and firmly upon Christ.
Let us love our friends, our families, our neighbors, and yes, our selves. Let us weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice. But first and foremost, let us go boldly before the throne of grace. And as much as we may feel needed when loved ones rely on us as well, it is our duty to lead them also to the throne.
Thereupon that very throne sits The Faithful and True, The I Am, waiting so patiently, yet so eagerly for us to finally come to Him with our every need. There is no end to the mercy and grace He is willing to extend freely to us. And yet, we find it easier to go to our loved ones, to those whose advice we consider to be wise, to those we believe hold the keys to our healing and/or happiness.
Let us not wait for someone to come along and stir the waters on our behalf. Let us no longer wait for Jesus to show up. Rather, let us run with all our strength, with all our hearts, with everything that we have in us, and let us cry out boldly: Faithful and True, the One, the Only Son of God and Son of Man who is familiar with all my needs, who searches my heart and leads me faithfully through both valleys and mountains, victories and defeats, good times and bad -- here I am. And I am in need, in need of mercy, in need of grace.
What a wonderful point you make here, Treava... because BELIEVING in God's Word is an 'action verb'! We have to act upon our belief in Him and not 'wait by the side of the pool'. And from that one action word comes many others: TRUSTING, LISTENING, FOLLOWING, LOVING, OBEYING. Yes, it's time for us to get up and run to Him! Thank you for getting us on our feet! WITH MORE LOVE, Peggy
I think I would like to use this piece on the ministry blogs , Treava . OK ?
Email me if there is a problem. A wonderful , wonderful piece that I would like to share with many other readers ....Yours In Christ , Julie
Joyce, There is SO much MEAT in this. I will need to read it several times to process the many messages written so well into one simple theme. To need, to be needed--all of it should point to the Father. I like the word picture of the water stirring...great concept for me to grasp. I like your heartfelt style that is still commanding and confident.
As we love and are loved by those who touch our lives, (our friends, our families, our pastors and teachers) it doesn’t take long to figure out that the ones we love most in all the world are also the same who have the greatest capacity to disappoint us, to break our hearts......Love is not just about receiving but also giving. Often people want to stay on the receiving end, wanting the world to cater to them. As children of God we are suppose to encourage one another. It shows the love of God is in our hearts. For example as a writer I don't stay on the receiving end. I take time to read what others write. Ministry is not one sided. Jesus taught but He also took time to listen to others. This is what the love of God is all about. Rom 12:10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another. Thanks for sharing. (((Hugs)))
08 Oct 2007
Joyce, I am not wanting, nor meaning to start a controversy, but I do wonder at one statement in your good story: "How many years of freedom could the man have experienced if he’d just gone first and foremost to the throne of grace? ... But he didn’t go there first." ... The time of this incident took place before Christ died, of course, so the period of time was still in the period of the LAW. The Grace period had not begun until after Christ's death and resurrection and before He had sent down the Holy Spirit to take His place. This man would not have known about the "The Throne of Grace." He knew only what he had been taught by the religious leaders of that time, and we all know how they thought and taught.... Please forgive me, as who am I to question your good writing? I am just wondering, that is all.... God bless you...Helen
Oh, dear Sister Helen, please do not feel the need to apologize. I LOVE to consider different aspects of the Word. We as Christian writers should appreciate having our words weighed as well... and I do truly appreciate you! Please see Genesis 19:19. Genisis -- in the beginning. Mercy and grace have both been available to us from the very beginning. All people prior to even Jesus' birth had access to throne of grace. The only difference then was that it was God who sat on that throne. But even that can be argued for we read "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was WITH God....... and the Word WAS God.... and became flesh and dwelt among us." The WORD is the epitome of mercy and grace and the very nature of a God whose mercy endures... always... without a timeframe. I probably should not have stated things exactly as I did or made assumptions about what the man could or could not have done. The facts remain... he laid by the pool and waited not for God, not for Jesus, but for a miracle, for an angel, or for a person, when all the while he had access to God... just as did the children of God of the Old Testament. Forgive me as well as I should be a bit more careful about assumptions. It was just a story that made a point seem more clear that I was attempting to make. Who knows? All I know is that Jesus DID show up and that that's all that really matters... He's there for us. We have access. Thank you for stirring up all these thoughts and for your honest critique. You are such a beautiful blessing to me.
08 Oct 2007
Good points, Joyce. And thanks for not being put off by my remarks. You are right, as my stories on FW, about my parents show, God' grace IS shown from the beginning to the end of the Bible. And I certainly agree that the man could have relied on the true God, instead of angels. I have written some Bible stories about this same time period - Jesus' miracles, etc., and I have mentioned this man by the pool. You are absolutely right, he could have relied on God--not the once-a-year angel; however, it was more the fault of the Pharisees, who didn't teach GRACE. They taught LAW, and the LAW has never saved anyone.... You are a very deep thinker, and a great writer. No fooling around in your writing. (hope there isn't in mine, either.)...Love in Christ, Helen