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Ideal

When I think of summers past, an often-repeated picture stands out to me. It was the continual overstepping of what was desirable for our children at bedtime. The ideal was ending each hot day at a good bedtime, teeth brushed, showered and calm at heart. But the exception became the norm with late night picnics, bbq’s, sports, celebrations, and events. It was often gritty, dusty, sweaty, unshowered, exhausted bodies hitting the clean sheets. And fast-forwarding to now when more choices, more adult twists and turns, more troubles loom upon each day, yet the end of each day still arrives. Still the ideal is desired.

I long to come to Jesus in the ideal, worthy, pleased with my deeds, actions and reactions. Instead I find I come having to face the gap. It is only unworthiness asking for His worth, like the grimy hands of a beggar landing upon the white porcelain vase.

What type of person will accept worth upon pure unworth again and again so easily? One lady said she would give help to the needy, but resisted those who would ask “too easily,” as if there was no longer any effort being made to get out from under. I am not happy about my unworth, but yet I still need even more to have His cleanness laid upon my grime.

Idealism can prohibit grace and make the gap seem uncrossable by imposing habitually-unmet standards. What is there left to do? Lie still. Accept the clean blanket of Christ’s worth that He mercifully lays upon that late-night, smudged, restless body.

“And if they are saved by God’s kindness, then it is not by their good works. For in that case, God’s wonderful kindness would not be what it really is—free and undeserved.”
(Romans 11:6)