"I'll go," I wrote here several days ago, "snatch up my oldest, most bedraggled, well-loved Bible and hold onto it for dear life....."
Well, I did it. I picked up that Bible, just after posting those words, and began to read. Knowing I was indeed being called back to Basics, I went straight to my favorite epistle. I wanted to read not just snatches, but a chunk - a whole book over a matter of days. So I began Philippians. But before sharing what happened, I will let you in on something that has been (secretly) troubling me.
Over the years, I've watched some once-prayerful friends make dreadful decisions. Many of us can relate to this, I'm sure. We have probably all known someone, maybe a number of someones, who've seemed to love God with all their hearts - and then have made serious choices to walk away from Him. I don't have to list ways in which this happens, but these all boil down to choosing one's own will over God's.
I have found this worrisome not only for the persons themselves, as has indeed been the case, but also for myself. After all, if it happened to them..... well, you can complete the rest of that thought...
During times of distraction and spiritual aridity, concerns about my own vulnerability can plague me. I find myself praying for my own eternal salvation. Never a bad thing to do, of course, but the troubling part is when I start to actually worry about it. It is a good thing to realize I can fall, for then I watch out for stumbling blocks and I avoid occasions of sin. It is not productive, however, to fret and feel gloomy and hopeless and doomed.
So ... with this in the back of my mind, I began to read Philippians. And there it was. In chapter 1, verse 6, there it was. It was as if a bar of my grillwork suddenly reached out and cradled me, enfolding me in the safety of a warm embrace.
"I am sure of this much: that He who has begun the good work in you will carry it through to completion, right up to the day of Christ Jesus." (Philippians 1:6)
I can sometimes forget, as I strive to relate to the world "through grillwork," that my grille does more than remind me not to judge nor envy nor slander. It is also an amazing, tender, loving comforter.
Being made primarily of Scripture, my grille swaddles me firmly in the healing love of God.