Monday, February 15, 2016

on grape juice & crackers...

There were more empty chairs than usual last night. Empty chairs in the church, full chairs in the slew of restaurants around town.

We took communion on Valentines Day. I don't think I have ever taken communion on Valentines Day before; we sang about God being the Good Father, how it's who He is and how we are loved by Him, and I couldn't help but dwell on the love, the cup, the bread, the secret things.

The cup and the bread, representing the blood and the body that was spilled and broken for me, for you, for humanity in its entirety. The death that brought hope; the death that ushered in salvation and life and faith. My heart pounded as this verse was read, reminding me of my sin, reminding me that I am not in control and that that I am wanting things that do not even belong to me.

"The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that
 are revealed belong to us and to our children forever…" 
- Deuteronomy 29:29

What are the secret things? What are the things that you think you have the right to know, but God reserves that right only for Himself? Maybe it's the secret of marriage, the secret of babies, the secret of salvation for family members, the secret of healing from sickness, the secret of writing a book or starting a non-profit. Our hearts yearn for knowledge, sometimes we seek the answers to the secret things more than our Savior. The cup, the blood, holds those secret things safely. The bread, the body, was broken in order to give life to those secret things. Just because there are things you haven't yet been given or things that have not yet been revealed to you, doesn't mean that they don't exist or that they are in an unsafe place. The secret things are safe, they are safe

I stared into the cup of grape juice and into my hand where the dried, broken piece of cracker lay, and I repented. I asked for forgiveness, not out of shame, but out of thankfulness. The Lord sees my heart, the wickedness and the wanting, but He gives me the cup and the bread, which is deeper still. 

The secret things are in the safest place, the hands of the Good, Good Father. Who am I to think my hands are safer than His? Or that my plans are wiser? My heart was overwhelmed with recognition of my sin; no, I was not knee-deep in the "big" sins, but I was knee-deep in the anxiety of trying to figure it all out, trying to be in control, and that may not be categorized as a "big" sin on the spectrum of American Christianity, but it felt just as heavy and weighty and big. 

So I sat there, asking for repentance, praying for forgiveness of these things. There is a freedom in prayer, because you are reminded of grace and the easy yoke. 

Forgive me for thinking that the secret things are my things.
Forgive me for wanting the secret things more than the Sacred Thing.
Forgive me for doubting that the secret things are safe in Your hands.
Forgive me for thinking that my ways are higher than your ways.
Forgive me for not trusting in Your sovereignty and goodness.
Forgive me for choosing future hopes over my present beauty.
Forgive me for trying to carry the sin that you have already buried in the grave.
Forgive me for not grieving my own sin.
Forgive me for seeking signs and wonders.
Forgive me in your mercy and goodness and grace.

I want to trust God with the secret things, with my sanctification, with the heaviness of my sin. I am walking away from taking a big drink from the cup and a hearty piece of cracker, knowing that God is in control and that He is big and mighty and capable.

Who needs chocolate and flowers when you have grape juice and crackers. 

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