Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Will you let a thorn in your flesh prick your heart?

Psalm 73:21
When my soul was embittered,
when I was pricked in heart,
I was brutish and ignorant;
I was like a beast toward You.

2 Corinthians 12:7
So to keep me from becoming conceited...
a thorn was given me in the flesh keep me from becoming conceited.

How will I choose to see the hard providences in life, you know, those gifts I would rather return? Asaph in Psalm 73 and Paul in 2 Corinthians 12 lay out some options. As always these include the cynic's way and the scenic route. A nice wordplay from the musical The Fantasticks with Chris, Eugene, Iris the other night.

Embittered and conceited?
The weight of sin is blinding, it defaults to seeing by the eyes of flesh and blood, which can never see or inherit the Kingdom of God... To do so would be like allowing optical illusions to override what's really going on... Do you think that trapeze artist can actually fly? Are this life, this world, and their seasons permanent? Is that levitating magician really slicing up his assistant? Do the wicked really prosper scot-free? Foolish.
Or content for the sake of Christ?
With true vision learn to sing Asaph's song, "Truly God is good..." and with pure hearts, see the Father and the perfection of His gifts.
be Thou my vision Jesus...
one day nothing will distort Your image
and i'll see You face to face--
a truly beautiful and utterly beautifying sight.
one day there will be no other light but You, O bright Heaven's Sun,
and everything will be in its real form, whole and pure and true--
including my still deceitful heart that offers only half of itself in worship.
even today help me to see You in part,
and see everything by the light of Your presence.
let earthy gold grow dim, give me faith to live by,
give me Yourself; i can't trust my eyes.

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