A thought for when things aren't going so well...
oy, these have been hard times.
If our life here were a ship, I'm afraid if I leaned over the side I would see the words, "Edmund Fitzgerald," stamped on the side. Any minute now the cook will be saying, "Fellas, it's been good to know ya!"
Dani and I sat down the other night to pay $1,200 in bills with $600 in the checking account.
(It's too bad they don't make a handy little shareware utility for situations like that. "New Cash Doubler! Only $54.95. Order today!!!")
These past few weeks the kids have just been awful. They've been unusually disrespectful, and it seems the only way they can talk to each other is with a sneer. They scowl and balk at the slightest request. We ask them to pick up their socks, and you would think we had asked them to scrape and paint the house.
And it seems by the end of the day, despite efforts that leave us exhausted, there is more left undone than there was at the start.
Things are coming apart at the seams - and as I am seeing it these days, it is mostly my fault.
As we have already established, I am lazy. I suppose that wouldn't be so bad - if I weren't also irresponsible, self-centered, and basically possessing of no life skills whatsoever. A package of faults and failings God has neatly wrapped up and called "sin."
I am afraid as the years have piled up sin has gotten the best of me. And one day real soon God is just going to get fed up with me. "Enough already! You've had your chances, and you've blown it. You're on your own now..."
And with God would go all hope.
All these thoughts came crushing in on me the other night... well, as they tend to do just about every other night these days! And maybe I am being too hard on myself; the residual effects of a good Catholic upbringing. I thought of that. But then again, maybe not. Maybe I am exactly right in my assessment of things, the evidence weighing heavily in that direction. But I just didn't know.
nd then this morning this thought came to reassure me...
God's love endures forever.
No matter what I do, his love for me remains the same. It never fades or fails. No matter how far I might fall, God loves me just the same.
But how do I know that?
It sounds all nice and reassuring, but how can I really be sure of it?
I can be sure of it because that is the love Jesus demonstrated when he died on the cross.
Paul says in the book of Romans that Jesus didn't die for the righteous - those who were already good and lovable. No, Paul says that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Jesus died for sinners.
And that would be me.
Maybe I'm not as bad as I sometimes think. And maybe at the same time in God's eyes I am far, far worse.
But even when I am at my worst, that is when God loved me most - because that is when he died for me.
At my worst, Christ died for me.
That is how much he loves me.
So I will stumble and God will allow me to fall - but never so far that he can't pick me up. And he will always pick me up. He will set me on my feet again, to guide me along the course he has set for me. He'll never leave me or forsake me, even though I may take a hundred detours along the way.
My life - this day - is in his hands.
And here is the thing I will hold on to....
No matter what may happen, no matter what I do - God's love for me will never dim...
God's love for me is brighter, stronger, warmer and more constant than the noon day sun.
Fall of 1997
© 1997 Paul Dallgas-Frey