Matthew 17:10-20 The truth is I’ve really struggled through these verses. Over the past two weeks I’ve been stumped. Praying that the I’d be filled with the Holy Spirit, able to reflect on the life changing truths of these verses–I received silence. I mention in a journal entry, What is faith like a mustard seed? my frustration and desperateness. In fact that journal entry was my only blog entry of the week as I gave way under the icky feeling of lostness. Indeed, God is very good. Time and time again after feeling lost he has come to prove how my feeling of lostness was his method of proving it was he that does the finding… not me.Well Dad, here we are again. I’m lost. I have no idea what you’re doing but what do I have but to turn to you and say “I”m ready when you are.” We’ve done this enough times now for me to know that all I have to do is sit quietly and wait for your voice. That voice that comes in such a way that makes me forget it I had ever gone without it. But the truth is I haven’t learned my lesson have I?
Almight God. Be merciful on your creature. Deal kindly with your rebellious servant. Not one day have I looked only toward you. But even today I watched carefully as all the temptations fluttered by my eyes, asking myself “how bad could it be” if I just picked one? A small one maybe. … NO! I’m so ashamed of my forgetfulness. The thought of my appetite for poison makes me sick to my stomach.
You know me Lord. You see my ugliness better than I do. Oh my shame. Even now as I type my mind swings toward vanity every second like a pendulum, wondering who will read my blog, or whether or not this will be read in the future… You see it all. You see it better than me. I see my blemished skin and I’m appalled, but you see my rotting heart… And even though the lust makes you burn with jealous anger and the pride provokes you to a position of violence. Your wrath is not bigger than your mercy. Why oh God, should I benefit from your mercy? Only that your delight in love. Only that you find more pleasure in sharing your love than you do in spilling your wrath on those who rebel against you. Covered in scabs that never go away because I keep picking at them, you lead me to your water to wash. You precious bath, perfect and pure with spot, and you wash your water over me. The water became muck, but I became clean.
That’s why I keep coming to these words. That’s why I’m not afraid anymore, of words that I don’t understand. Because again and again, I was dirty and you cleaned me with your own water. As my lips rotted your lips touched my to breath life and you didn’t cringe, but embraced me. Your love is greater. Your love is perfect. You have no need of anything at all, only love to give to everyone if they will receive it.
I ramble on like a baby. It’s because I want them to know that I am a criminal, but your making me a son by the power of your love.
Your words here in Matthew 17:9-20 have got me stuck in the mud, but I don’t care. I know who you are. You’re my Dad! I will wait, and call your name until you pick me up and tell me why. I love you. Thank you for loving me. Please don’t stop making me like you. I wanna love everyone I know the way you love me. I don’t want anyone to miss out.
10And the disciples asked him, “Then why do the scribes say that first Elijah must come?” 11He answered, “Elijah does come, and he will restore all things. 12But I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but did to him whatever they pleased. So also the Son of Man will certainly suffer at their hands.” 13Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them of John the Baptist. Jesus Heals a Boy with a Demon
14And when they came to the crowd, a man came up to him and, kneeling before him, 15said, “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and he suffers terribly. For often he falls into the fire, and often into the water. 16And I brought him to your disciples, and they could not heal him.” 17And Jesus answered, “O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him here to me.” 18And Jesus rebuked the demon,b and itc came out of him, and the boy was healed instantly.d 19Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” 20He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”e
Faith. The word means a lot of different stuff to a lot of different people. To me it meant to be sold out even if you’re not sure. But now it means more. It means don’t stop. Faith once told me to look up every now and then for inspiration. Now it tells me to look up and never look down again. Look up toward heaven and see the Kingdom of God. That is my home. Jesus built it for sinners like me, and showed what it means to live there. That to live is to be there. Now I want to live. There. In his Kingdom, under his reign. Until I am there with him. I am alive, living there now, here.