Wednesday, February 29, 2012

February 29th

Keith did not have to go into work today until later on in the morning, so I got up with him and made him a breakfast of a fried egg sandwich before sending him off to yet more classes. Yesterday he had an entire day of them.

I have been reading more of Amy Carmichael; she is astonishing. She puts Scripture together in unexpected and beautiful ways.

In one of the chapters, she quoted this passage:

"May God Himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul, and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The One who calls you is faithful, and He will do it."

-I Thessalonians: 5:23-24

I've read this passage before, of course, but you know what I was really hearing, as I read it?


"Maybe the God of peace Himself may sanctify you completely (if you add your strength to His) and maybe your whole spirit, soul, and body may be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful (if you are faithful), who also will do it (if you obey completely.)

So, I was sitting there, reading Carmichael's devotional, reading that whole passage wrong and not even realizing it, and she goes on to write this:

"He will do all that I long to do, and cannot. Faithful is He: He will do it!"

And for the first time, the full meaning of that passage sank into me. It was blinding; it was like having a dirty, flimsy curtain be pulled aside. It filled me with joy unspeakable.

This is why we can be close to Him without shame; this is why we can shout for joy in the secret places of His tabernacle and lie down to sleep in His arms. The God of peace Himself sanctifies us through and through.

It's not a maybe; He will do it.

We can lean ourselves, with joy, into this promise- as though we are leaning into His arms, against His loving heart. Wherever we go then, we never leave His arms.

At the very end of the book, Carmichael writes this:

"He who begins, finishes. He who leads us on, follows behind to deal in love with our poor attempts... He gathers up the things that we have dropped- our fallen resolutions, our mistakes... He makes His blessed pardon to flow over our sins till they are utterly washed away. And He turns to fight the Enemy, who would pursue after us, to destroy us from behind.

"He is first, and He is last!

"And we are gathered up between, as in great arms of eternal lovingkindness.

"As we travel on to another day, another month, or another year, we need never fear!"

-Amy Carmichael, I Come Quietly to Meet You, ch. 40