Drowning in His Mercy

LighthouseA few weeks ago I was reading excerpts from Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis, who of course was an incredible Christian writer and scholar.  (I’m pretty sure I’m remembering correctly and I have Christ’s Church on the River to thank for this Devotional Classics book that I’ve been rereading.  Thanks Lori & Greg Bachmann & Louie Marsh for a graduation gift I’m still using!)  The excerpt addresses how hard it is to give all of ourselves to Christ, but how at the same time it becomes easier because Christ has promised His support.  As contradictory as it sounds the more we give up the easier it becomes.

…the almost impossible thing, is to hand over your whole self-all your wishes and precautions-to Christ.  But it is far easier than what we are trying to do instead.  For what we are trying to do is to remain what we call “ourselves,” to keep personal happiness as our great aim in life, and yet at the same time be “good.”  We are all trying to let our mind and heart go their own way-centered on money or pleasure or ambition-and hoping, in spite of this, to behave honestly and chastely and humbly.  And that is exactly what Christ warned us you could not do…I must be plowed up and resown.
                      from Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

It’s interesting to me how the Bible mentions that people would wash their hands to demonstrate their cleanliness.  I feel like there’s so much of me that is “dirty” that just washing my hands would hardly be sufficient.

Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
James 4:8 New International Version (NIV)

I was also thinking how often I am doing things and I’m unaware of my own selfish intentions.  Am I a “good” person?  If I am, is it because I want to be, because I want other people to think I am or because that’s who God wants me to be?  How have I let the world change who God intended me to be?

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Romans 12:2 New International Version (NIV)

I want to be Christlike, but I know that my character still has a whole lot more that needs to be “washed.”  The only way I’ll ever be cleaned is by accepting forgiveness for my sins through the sacrifice that Jesus made for me on the cross.  I would like to say that I already “dove in” as my prayer suggests, but I fear at times I’m holding out on God.  I want to be my best for God by letting go of me and trusting in Him, but I think it’s something I need to be continuously reminded of.  I would like to begin each morning asking myself, am I ready to dive into HIs grace and truly live the day He’s planned for me?

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I wash my hands
in a pool of Your mercy
and yet I remain unclean.
The reflection that stares back
as I kneel on the shore
is not one that I’ve seen.
Lord, do You recognize me?

I wash my face
with Your cleansing grace
and yet I am not satisfied.
The person I’ve become
in this world of men
is not who I expected to find.
Lord can You still recognize me?

It’s not enough
It’s not enough
To wade in Your forgiveness.
It’s not enough
It’s not enough
To stare at You from a distance.
So I’m diving in.
Lord I’m diving in.

Strip me God
Of my inequities
Strip me God of my sorrows.
Drown my transgressions
In Your ocean of grace
So I can live with You tomorrow.
I’m diving in.

I hold my breath
in a sea of crashing waves
and yet I do not drown.
I’m searching for the someone
You made me to be.
I’m lost in dark waters
Hoping to be found.

“Let go,” You whisper
and my shoes are swept away
along with the lonely miles I’ve chosen.
“Let go,” You insist
and my pants break free
I begin rising to the surface
Though my strength is gone and limbs are frozen.

It’s not enough
It’s not enough
To wade in Your forgiveness.
It’s not enough
It’s not enough
To stare at You from a distance.
So I’m diving in.
Lord, I’m diving in.

Strip me God
Of my inequities
Strip me God of my sorrows.
Drown my transgressions
In Your ocean of grace
So I can live with You tomorrow.
I’m diving in.

I stare at my reflection
in the beauty of Your love
I am unclothed and unafraid.
The sand of the sinner
is on a distant shoreline
And I stand before You changed.
Lord, thank You for rescuing me.

amen

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