Sometimes situations look so black and white. Sometimes so much so that we feel to be silent is to evade our responsibility to stand on truth. The past few weeks I have felt so confused about this – confused about the situation and confused even more about what was happening inside my own heart. Maybe I haven’t been as alone as I have sometimes felt.
Sometimes its easy to agree to disagree with our brothers and sisters in Christ and other times, it can feel as if it goes against everything inside us to do so.
Sometimes perhaps we all have to say what we believe we must say and sometimes the members of the body of Christ do not agree.
Sometimes Paul and Barnabus each have opposite convictions about an issue, so much so that they cannot agree on a compromise. And perhaps neither one of them is wrong. Perhaps unity in the body is not a matter of agreement, but of respecting and understanding that we will each follow the decisions God is leading us to make even if we do not agree. And perhaps the matters of my heart have been a matter of finding peace with this.
For several weeks I have been confused by all of these things more than ever. I have been concerned and I have let that concern rule me. Though I’ve tried to be respectful, I have still refused to choose God’s peace in my heart over the decisions that my brothers and sisters in Christ are making. I have been wrong to do so and it is healing to say all of that.
If you can relate to all of this in some way then maybe the same things that fill me with grace today can fill you too. Today the story of Peter is filling me with my God’s grace right now. Peter was so ready to say and do without a thorough examination of his heart in the light of Christ. I’m grateful to read the story of God taking a person like that and delighting to work on him and use him to share the good news of His kingdom.
Today I am grateful for physical reminders of how much he treasures me – for meeting Ms. Martha and seeing her artwork last week. For she has chosen to hang her museum worthy art pieces that are painted on clean white canvases next to things that many people wouldn’t give a second glance. She has chosen old gourds and scraps of wood and pieces of bone, and she has cleaned them up and painted them pretty and displayed it for all to see as a masterpiece that she delights to display.
I’m grateful that God delights to take people with flaws and crooked edges and display them as if on a shelf with all the rest of His handiwork. He calls me beautiful because though I may feel like my edges stick out most unbecomingly, I am most importantly a reflection of Him, not based of anything I have or have not done but because that is what He has found it in His heart of love to make me.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:8-10