Turning Shame to Worship

God is patient. Very patient. I know this because he has not finished with me despite myself. Readers of this blog and those who know me personally see some of my faults, which are many; but God knows them all. Those with whom I interact get a picture of my shortcomings and echoes of the evil that lie beneath the surface, but God sees them with complete clarity. He knows them all. With God, I cannot share only when and what I feel like or paint a picture of how I view myself. No, he gets the objective truth, the reality of who I am. And he endures me.

When I consider that he is audience to my narcissistic thought life as well as my often-bitter, begrudging heart, I feel a right sense of shame regarding who I am but also a deep sense of joy about whom he is.

That he bears with my treachery is mercy enough, that he invites me to be his adopted child is shocking. Shocking! Why me? When so many others would better serve or love or honor him, why me? Why form me in the womb at all, let alone call me to his kingdom? Oh how that thought strikes at the core of my being.

God sees all of the evil in my soul; he knows the dark depths therein. But because of my deference to Christ, I say to God, “please, don’t look at me. Look at Jesus, your son; he’s all I’ve got. I can’t–I can’t show myself worthy, only he is worthy. If he doesn’t claim me as his own, then I am lost.” And God, in his goodness, honors such requests; he chooses to see Christ in me, rather than my sinful life.

Lost in these thoughts, my hope is renewed; my shame gives way to worship. My sin still lives but for only a moment against the grand expanse of eternity. In the face of everlasting life, a few years on this plain (and the sin that abounds in them) seem fleeting. They are not the fullness of who I am through Christ–that reality is yet to be seen. Such realizations are the seeds of worship. How can we do anything else?

Christ tells those who believe in Him for salvation to be at peace, for their sins are forgiven them. Even when facing the darkness, when the power of evil seems unending and the light in whom we place our hope feels dim or distant, remember the miracle of salvation, of God’s pardoning believers in Christ because of what He has done. Though we continue in the muck and mire, he slowly cultivates our souls toward beauty and, ultimately, he will deliver us from ourselves.

How Great is Our God.