Sunday, June 9, 2013

Hiding with Christ

Hide and seek and manhunt were probably my two favorite childhood games. Being the skinny, small child I was, finding places to hide wasn't difficult. Under sinks, behind doors, underneath cars, between bushes, flat against walls (if it was dark enough), in tall trees, etc. You name a small, barely-any-oxygen-to-breathe spots, and I've probably hidden in it.

However, there was always a major flaw in my hiding strategies. Maybe it had to do with all the adrenaline that was pumping, or the fact that silence gives you time to actually think about it, but I always had to pee. I couldn't stay in those places more than 2.39 minutes without feeling the terrible urge to, well, you know, lose my liquid weight, so to speak.

Then the inevitable, and strangely classic "TIME OUT - I GOTTA PEE!" was called, and my secret location was usually divulged to whoever was within earshot. I would have to find a whole new spot after the break.
For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. (Colossians 3)
It's a tale of tradition that Reverend Augustus Toplady, a British preacher in the 1700s, was caught one night in a stormy gale. Seeking shelter, he tucked himself away in the gap of a gorge, where he was inspired to pen the following words, whose eloquence I cannot match:
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee
The picture given here is of a God who was carved open that you might rest in Him, protected from the destruction of storm that looms over us. He does not provide the shelter, He is the shelter.

Though the storm may get us wet and sick, God does not fail. He is the ultimate Keeper of that which belongs to Him. Once you are Christ's, you need not worry that the forces of this world will rip you away from His hand, no matter how the winds howl and the storm crashes.

God knows our weakness. Psalms 103 says that He "knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust." Because He knows our susceptibility to sin, the enemy, and suffering, He will guard our hearts until the day when we are lifted up with Christ; when we "appear with Him in glory."

Until then, I await here. Resting hidden in the Rock of Ages.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

God's Economy

One of my most vivid early memories was of me asking my mom how much it cost to go to college. I'm not really sure what she responded, (so much for vivid) but I believe she said something along the lines of about ten grand. Now, as a small boy who thought getting 20 bucks for being polite (that's a story for another time) was a payoff of Kardashian status, this number was massive. Monolithic. Ginormous, if you will.

So, I started saving. Here we have a less-than-ten little boy trying to save ten G's. From that time up until when I actually started going to college, I always made sure that I was trying to accumulate the appropriate cash for those years. To this day, I don't believe I've ever met any other small boy that looks that much into the future. A ten year old with a five-year plan. Go figure. Evidently, I valued college. Mucho.

When I took an economics class in high school, I learned the fundamental principle that something's value is determined by what someone was willing to pay for it. For me, I valued an education enough to start collecting loose couch change and polite-cash (once again, some other time) in anticipation for it. 
Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. (Matthew 10)
Well, there's the understatement of the ages. It appears that even God loves hyperbole. God values us more than "many sparrows." Well, they'd have to be a lot of sparrows, 'cuz God loved us enough to send His Son to die on a bloody tree. If you ask me, though, I'm not too sure I would have done what He did. I don't know that a humanity which constantly rejects and pains its Creator is one that has enough value for me to pay for.

But thank God I'm not God.

You see, in God's economy, He loves us with a love that stands regardless of our ability to hold up our end. In God's economy, He stretched out His arms on a cross just to show us how much He loves us. In God's economy, we are worth more than many sparrows, or anything else He created for that matter.

In God's economy, you are worth it.