There are a lot of things going through my mind as I start this not the least of which is that there is no way I am ever going to be able to pay back everyone for the kindnesses my family and I have received over the last 3 years. There are two main reasons for this. ONE: even if I had been keeping track of all the monetary kindness I have been shown, there is plenty that I haven’t known of, and even more that nobody would ever cop to because of the desire to remain anonymous. TWO: many of the gifts and kindnesses I have received are priceless and, as such, I couldn’t even begin to assign a dollar value, or even hope to repay the favor exactly. For how does one place a price-tag on a well-timed sermon that is just what you need right when you need it? How does one place a dollar value on a hug from a friend?
Nobody is asking me to pay them back. That’s not where I’m going with this at all. No, what I’m thinking about has more to do with the my inability to ever fully repay a debt when I cannot even comprehend its breadth. Sounds a little like having one’s sins paid for by someone who never knew sin, who was perfect.
The friends and church family who have helped me out so much, who have been there for me in ways I will likely never be able to comprehend, in many ways, I feel I owe my life to them. Maybe not literally, but figuratively for sure. There was nothing I could’ve done to deserve their kindness. They just felt compelled to bless me and my family out of their own blessings. As a friend of mine said today, “What? It’s not ours anyway. We’re just giving it back to God.” Knowing that is the truth, but really experiencing the truth of it are two TOTALLY different things. And if I feel like I could never repay these people for their kindness, and like I owe them a debt of gratitude for just making my life possible for the time being, how much more do I owe Christ who has, most assuredly, given His very life for me and, with his sacrifice, has paid my way into Heaven by paying off debts I didn’t even know I owed. Is my obedience enough? Is my praise enough? My worship? I could be cliché and say that I would pledge my undying devotion to Him, but I’m human, and that’d be a lie. The truth is that my devotion will wane. It has many times in the past, and likely it will in the future because I forget just how much I’ve been given and forgiven. Then, something will happen that will remind me, and once again, I will be “on fire” for Jesus again. Until the next time.
Why is it always like this? Because, far too often, I forget to remind myself of what all God has done for me. I get bogged down in the busy-ness and daily-ness of life, and I forget to remind myself of the gospel of Jesus Christ that says I was a sinner and I needed a Savior.
I can even take it one step farther. Given all that I have received so freely from a God that I could never repay, how could I hold onto that gift so selfishly? I did nothing to deserve it. I could never earn it. And yet, I benefit from the blessing of that gift everyday. Yet, when it comes time to share with others, I balk. I let fear stand in the way. Where’s the undying devotion then? Where is my obedience? My praise? My worship of the God that made my very life possible?
Well…guess what?! This week the county fair starts. Our church has an evangelism booth at said fair. I’ve worked the fear a couple of times, and have always let fear stand in the way of my saying anything substantial to passers-by, or even to those who stop. Perhaps there is a reason I am having these thoughts and feelings on the eve of the week that I am scheduled for two shifts at that booth………..