AMAZED am I. I cannot believe that God should choose to use a person like me to do his Sovereign work.
I cannot honestly understand it… when I’m being honest… when I’m not prideful and thinking God’s lucky to have me. Yet if it wasn’t for Jesus I’d be ruined. He’s not lucky to have me; I’m incomprehensively blessed because of him.
I cannot credit it… when I’m being honest… when I’m not deceived into thinking ‘my obedience’ is a credit to me. ‘My obedience’ is my privilege to respond; and, being Christian, my responsibility of response.
I cannot hope to look at Jesus who hung on the cross for me… when I’m being honest… when I’m not pretending I’m already super close to Jesus. Yet despite my oft-deception, Jesus looks at me with such amazing love, despite my offence.
I cannot comprehend that a hurt and fundamentally fallible man like me… when I’m being honest… makes a good servant of the living Lord. I’m more a barrier to his Kingdom than I could ever help, but God, so gracious, so gentle and so kind, gives me this thing to do — to serve him — because he knows it’s all I can do. I can do, and have, nothing else. So wonderful is his grace that he dignifies someone so irretrievably lost. In him I’m found. In him is my purpose. And in him I’m complete!
I cannot reconcile it in my own mind, let alone synthesise its resonance in my heart… when I’m being honest… when I’m not holding and keeping others to a Jesus standard I myself cannot hold or keep. Oh, how rotten through am I! Yet, never rejected like I reject others, Jesus loves me with an unconditional acceptance.
I hardly believe that Jesus has his work for me to do… when I’m being honest… when I actually understand how privileged I am to love… when I’m not lost in how wonderfully pastoral my love is — ‘my love’, which is not mine at all, but the Saviour’s. I have little love that isn’t self-centred or a skill. Without Christ my ‘love’ would be indelibly shallow.
I cannot boast in a thing that I offer God in the work I do. The cross levels my pride and shows me how much loss Jesus suffered; I cannot come close to the cross without being awed and backwashed in wondrous grief and grievous gratitude. The scale of the cross and its eternal significance. I cannot in all honesty look. The truth blazes holes in my eyes right through the back of my head. Yet because of the cross I’m irrevocably saved. I cannot understand this but I can accept it.
How loving is God that he uses broken vessels to bequeath his love. What divine love that a broken vessel like me has value in the Kingdom of God. The supremacy of value in Jesus Christ alone.
In eternity there will be only one boast: our Lord Jesus Christ.
I boast in too much that is not God. And daily be my lament as I choose to repent.
Lord, contain my bragging boast,
Make me boast only in you,
Make me love your rugged cross,
Make me live only a life that’s true.
© 2015 Steve Wickham.