Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Shadowlands

There are lots of reasons, good reasons, to feel like one is living in what C.S. Lewis called 'the shadowlands.'

We live in a fallen world. Unhappiness, sorrow, betrayal, anger, disease, dying, January...
As I was pondering this yesterday, actually while taking a shower, the following words came into my head.

'When darkness seems to hide His face,
I rest on His unchanging grace.
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
faultless to stand before the throne.'

Even in this miserable world, we can stand here and be assured, even joyous, that God is just, and all will turn out right in the end. Also, that our relationship with God does not depend upon us 'being good all the time,' making sure we don't mess up. We're not fooling God. He knows our hearts. God knows our frame, that we are but dust. (In other words, we don't need to worry about living up to His expectations. He has no high expectations of us.) We may not want to admit it, but God knows that we are simply helpless sinners in need of a Savior. I don't know about you, but that's a real comfort to me, for it tells me that God's love for me is the same always.  He doesn't withhold His love while waiting for me to 'snap out of it.' Even a cranky me can go to God and rest in Him.

Our standing before God depends not upon us, but on His grace, on Christ's righteousness, not our own. There's nothing like the freedom that comes from knowing God's grace, knowing Jesus IS our righteousness, and putting all our trust in Him alone. That makes all the difference. Even in the shadowlands.

'On Christ the Solid Rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground is sinking sand.'

What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ  and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.- Philippians 3:8-9

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.- II Corinthians 5:21

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.- Romans 8:28

rhyming lines from The Solid Rock, hymn by Edward Mote.



Jo Davis said...

The story isn't over. God knows the outcome and He is the Victor! Truth will win out. You are so right -- knowing that does give us cause for joy! Blessings, Joan

Joyce said...

Thanks for posting this today, especially the poem. My niece who is so ill is having a very difficult day(s) and they really spoke to me.

Ruth Kelly said...

We are all children of our Heavenly Father and he loves us and will throughout all Eternity. He is there for us when we ask for his help. Tough times are coming, we need to stay close to him.

Anonymous said...

What a nice post Judy :) I like the poem. The snow picture is very nice. Thank you for sharing those encouraging words today! Enjoy your day!


Shannon@Cozy Home Scenes said...

Your words are very true and encouraging at a time when I needed to hear them. I am leaning on my faith heavily as I work through a difficult decision. I wish I could express my thoughts as wonderfully as you did. Thanks.
I just found your blog and I'm glad I did. Your beautiful header and that pretty photo of the snow drew me in to read more. I will check back again.------- Shannon

Lois Christensen said...

Beautiful. I love how those hymns that we learned so long ago just stay in our memory. Love that song especially. Thanks for sharing the beautiful scripture!

Michelle said...

Beautiful post. I try to rest in Him more each day. Thanks for the encouragement!

Rachel said...

Thanks for sharing this today, I needed those verses!!!


Kara at Petals to Picots said...

What a wonderful post, Judy! And exactly what I needed to read today. I also find comfort knowing that I am excepted by our Lord, faults and all. This is the day that He has made, let us be glad :)

Denise said...

Such an inspiring post.

Under Her Wings said...

"Bearing shame and scoffing rude,
In my place condemned He stood,
Bought my pardon with His blood;

What a wonderful post, Judy! The Philippians 3 passage is my husband's favorite Scripture. We are indeed blessed to have a Savior who knows our weakness and has made compensation for that weakness by His own blood.

Amy, a redeemed sheep said...

I needed to read this...

Dressed in His righteousness alone,
faultless to stand before the throne.'

A great reminder that it's all about JEsus and the work that He did on my behalf...

Thank you, Judy. =)

Vicky @ Mess For Less said...

So true Judy! Thanks for these inspiration thoughts. Perfect top read before starting a busy week. Vicky from Mess For Less

J_on_tour said...

Yes " January" hasn't been good for me as you know but learning to trust God in these difficult times ... if I try and sort it or hope things will be ok, it'll turn out a mess. Thanks for this one.


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