Saturday, September 27, 2008

Throwing it all aside!

ard not to participate in Amy Wyatt's (Signs, Miracles and Wonders) "Then Sings My Soul Saturdays" this week, having just used the title of a Chris Tomlin song in my last post. (OK, actually, Chris' chorus doesn't talk about weeds being gone, but, rather, chains.)

Truth is, Scripture tells us that we carry a lot of things that we shouldn't be carrying. Definitely shouldn't be carrying sin around with us! Shouldn't be carrying around burdens. We shouldn't be carrying ANYTHING that hinders our walk with God!!

For you, it could be chains. For me, it was weeds (thorns in the soil, choking out my ability to see the truth of God's word for me.)

After I read my blog friend Kelli's post on perseverance (quoting Hebrews 12: 1-3
), I found in my Bible reading the story of Bartimaeus, one of the blind men who had received sight from Jesus (the loud, begging one!). But, I found a detail I hadn't seen.

...But he kept crying out all the more, "Son of David, have mercy on me!"

And Jesus stopped and said, "Call him here." So they called the blind man, saying to him, "Take courage, stand up! He is calling for you."

Throwing aside his cloak, he jumped up and came to Jesus.

And answering him, Jesus said, "What do you want Me to do for you?" And the blind man said to Him, "Rabboni, I want to regain my sight!"

And Jesus said to him, "Go; your faith has made you well."
--From Mark 10: 48-52 (emphasis mine)

It would seem to be a meaningless detail, but no word in the Bible is ever without meaning. Bartimaeus recognized who Jesus was and knew what he most needed first--mercy! Those around him encouraged him. "Have courage!" "Stand up!" "He is calling for you!"

And then, he throws off his cloak.

He released the outer garment that he had shouldered, that which had distinguished him as the blind beggar. In the presence of Jesus, he became a new creation. He removed the things that had hindered him. At that point, his chains were gone. At that point, he regained his sight, in the spiritual sense. And Jesus fully restored his sight in the physical sense, too.

My chains are gone!
I've been set free!
My God, my Savior, has ransomed me.
And like a flood
His mercy rains
Unending love. Amazing grace!

For me, this week, it's another step in "working out my salvation with fear and trembling." It's taking another step closer to God. It's been leaving behind pride and lack of submission to walking freely, sight restored. It's been about asking for mercy and forgiveness in not knowing and understanding His word, and yet receiving, once again, that amazing grace. Grace that lets you throw off the things that bind you with abandon!

John Newton, who wrote "Amazing Grace" (around which Chris Tomlin adds his new chorus), is said to have based the song around words in I Chronicles, in which God's favor upon David is explained. I find myself reading my name instead of David's, and rejoicing in the mercy, knowledge and grace that God has bestowed on me this week.

"What more can David still say to You concerning the honor bestowed on Your servant? For You know Your servant.

"O LORD, for Your servant's sake, and according to Your own heart, You have wrought all this greatness, to make known all these great things.

"O LORD, there is none like You, nor is there any God besides You, according to all that we have heard with our ears.

--I Chronicles 17: 18-20


Chatty Kelly said...

Sue - you are so articulate, your posts are such teachable moments. I enjoy them so much.

I, too, love that song. And I am so glad that you have been set free from the weeds that were troubling you last week.

Grace really is amazing, isn't it?

Edie said...

There is always so much substance to your writing. I love this song too. It was one of my ring tones on my last phone.

We all have things we need to be set free from, unnessary burdens that we carry around with us. The process of becoming free is often painful becasue we have to see the sin or burden before we can hand it to Jesus. But the freedom is always worth it.

In His Love ~