In the Land of the Living

After king Hezekiah was healed by God of a deathly sickness, he recorded a prayer including this portion:

Behold, it was for my welfare that I had great bitterness; but in love you have delivered my life from the pit of destruction, for you have cast all my sins behind your back. For Sheol does not thank you; death does not praise you; those who go down to the pit do not hope for your faithfulness. The living, the living, he thanks you, as I do this day; the father makes known to the children your faithfulness. The LORD will save me, and we will play my music on stringed instruments all the days of our lives, at the house of the LORD.

I am so thankful for the grace of God that is healing me of this deathly sinful nature. In His love, He has delivered me from the pit of destruction and cast all my sins behind His back. This is the amazing news of the gospel: Christ in us, the hope of glory. He desires to have a living relationship with me. He has invited me to commune with Him in this life and the one to come, and I will forever praise His name. But I am only able to declare His name to others on this side of heaven. Only in this life can I proclaim His greatness to those who have not seen or heard. I am reminded and challenged to make use of every opportunity to bring glory to God’s name as long as I have breath.

 

Perfection of Choice

There is a ironic paradox that is created when we exercise our free will in submission to the will of God. With any given list of options, one could imagine that they might be sorted in order from best to worst. Let us presume that some criterion exists which perfectly distinguishes any option as better or worse than any other. We often make choices based on what seems best in the moment or based on emotions or peer pressure or convenience, but seldom do we make the best choice because we can only see so far. In every decision, it would be ideal to pick the best option according to that perfect criterion. There are two ways to progress towards that ultimate state: 1) that the decision maker becomes familiar with that perfect criterion and selects the best option through reason or 2) that the list of options is narrowed by removing the inferior selections until only the best remains. If both of these happen simultaneously, then the decision maker fully embraces the best and only option. But does he really have a choice anymore? Do you have to have more than one option in order to make a choice? This paradox that can be really confusing in Christianity. As God transforms us into His likeness, we become familiar with what is best for us. We exercise our free will by choosing to submit to His will. This submission removes all other options so that the only choice left is God. You could argue that at this point, you have lost your ability to choose. In reality, this is choice brought to perfection.