This morning I am struggling with fear. I want a re-do on a conversation. I feel like I miss-represented myself in a negative light, and I want to clear the air by letting that person know that I am good at the particular task we discussed. I am tempted to write an email - hey, friend - you know - I was trying to be humble about my super-mad-skills, but I'm really great at it. My heart racing, worrying that this person is going to think less of me than he should.
It would be funny if it weren't so ugly, so dirty, so true. My self-centered idolatry is staring me straight in the mirror and I want to make eyes at it instead of crushing it. I recognize it as sin, but I am still more consumed with it and than with repentance.
So, I come to the Word to find something that will jolt me out of this trap. Something that will turn my eyes away from myself. And this familiar - coffee cup - calendar - throw pillow - kind of verse comes into view from 2 Corinthians 12. My grace is sufficient for you.
That's a verse about suffering. Hard days. Hard situations. Right? But when it comes to my pride? My self-absorbency? His grace is sufficient?
Sufficient. It means to raise a barrier. Put up a fence. It means to protect.
Yes, in hardships and persecution, in sickness and brokenness - His grace protects. And in my sin - His grace, too, is faithful and good and protecting. It is thrown as far as two lines that will never meet. I am protected from the wrath my sins deserve.
But, I also believe there's more. It sounds silly maybe - but I need to picture a fence.
On this side, I look for other's approval as my salvation. Proverbs 29:25 says that I will not be safe when I am fearing man. It is dangerous. A trap. A snare. I will get hurt when I look to people to give me my worth. But, the verse goes on, to say - on the other side - when I trust God, I will be safe.
I want to trust that God's glory is more worthy than mine. I have to trust that God is working everything out for my good, even if not comfortable. I have to trust that God, who controls the wind and the rain, can take care of the details. So what if this friend now doesn't think I do ___ very well? If he needs to know differently, God can arrange that. And what if I lost ability to do it well? Would my eternity hang in the balance? And what if I struggle with my pride every day for the rest of my life? Well, then, too - I have to praise God for this fence. A holy fence made from the wood of a cross.