Amy Carmichael spoke of praising when we cannot see through the trouble… What is trouble? Is it our sin? Is it loss? Is it wrongs done against us? Is it more costs than gifts received? Yes, it is all these. Trouble is the thing we think of when we hear encouraging words spoken or another’s trials – the thing that comes to mind when a brother or sister says “God is good.”. We all know our own troubles, as large or as insignificant they may appear. We always have at least one at the forefront of our minds, causing an uneasiness in our hearts, and a weary soul. Corrie Ten Boom said “We will see more and more that we are chosen not because of our ability, but because of His power that will be demonstrated in our not being able….”. That makes us think…perhaps, our continual mistakes are so small. Our lies, deceits, adulteries, lusts, idolatry and gluttony – all are expected. Not to take grace in vain – but to see why grace is there…it is perhaps not only for the prodigal in the Kingdom – who has not yet returned, but also for the home-grounded son, who also makes mistakes – even though he be everyday in his Father’s own presence. The son who stayed with his Father – doing his Father’s work, sowing/planting and reaping/harvesting, why, he needed grace just as his way-ward, prodigal brother! And both were loved by their Father the same. Perhaps – or maybe not just perhaps, but quite surely, the son who stayed with his Father made a few mistakes while with his Father. Notice how often though, that we condemn the older son? He is an old Scrooge in our minds – in our messages…but perhaps he was only a good son who made mistakes just like his brother…I’ve never thought about it, but maybe there is more than one lesson to be learned from the elder of the two sons. Maybe one of these lessons is this; even in our Father’s presence, we still can and do fall short and make mistakes.
And the Father still allowed this son to stay in his presence…notice that?
So, we do not know though from the story, if the elder brother repented of his wrongs, but he was most surely allowed to. His Father wished it and would have most readily received him into the party – why, his Father held nothing against him! He just saw him, as his blood son, whom he loved.
So, in our trouble, when our trouble is our sin, He, our Father, gives us a heart to hope and a soul of strength. He builds us up, never tears us down. He welcomes and never shuns. He opens the door – it is always open to a repenting child of His. Why would He ever give up on a son who loved Him and wanted to work alongside Him? He never would. Prodigals are allowed to come home. And the one who messes up under his Father’s roof? He can stay as well. We’re all welcome at the table of the Father, just slip on that slick robe He offers – go ahead, if you took it off and got yourself dirty, it’s still good. You’ll be amazed by this Father – He might even come wash your feet.
1st John 1:7-9
7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
And last, but not least, James 1:5
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
So, can we still praise and live after we cause our own trouble? Still come to the Father and ask for help? Yes, a hundred times yes.
Blessings my brothers and sisters! For you in the states, have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
One more word from Amy Carmichael – “Go through that depressing dimness without yielding to depression and without depressing others. All the resources of heaven are at thy command to enable thee to do this.” And one more from Corrie “The door of repentance is wide open! Hallelujah!”