C122 VS37    [09/05/07]

Exactly eleven years ago from this Sunday coming (19 April 1998) my life began to change. It happened when my wife broke her ankle as we were walking in one of the Constantia greenbelts. Suddenly I was thrown upon God’s grace as there was nothing I could really do apart from get her onto my back (prolapse disc, arthritis, etc!) and struggle to the quiet road kilometres from my car – except cry out to God that I needed help and transport. A doctor from Gauteng was driving past and stopped as I got to the road. My wife was in hospital for 19 days with that ankle. Her church cell group kept my two children and me supplied with supper and encouragement. Over the last eleven years that cell group’s leader has become like a sister. Big Sis, Thank you for all your encouragement and prayers. Without that support I would still be an aging bitter, cynical idiot. Now at least I can leave out the “bitter, cynical” bits — most of the time. Thank you, too AM, because I gained these benefits as a result of your suffering, not my own smartness: through your pain I learned about Grace. That was underscored two weeks later, when my Dad passed away on Friday 1 May 1998

On Easter Day (last week!) I was reading a blog which said (more or less) that today even the average 12-year-old knows so much that no-one would fall for this religion/Good Friday/ Easter stuff. My comment on that? Been there, done that, no longer quite so arrogant.

Yes, I am (and perhaps you are too) still in the Valley of the Shadows. There are still many uphill battles; but even if we fail here and there and lose a battle or two, our Redeemer has won the war, and that alone is our real hope.

As I look back I cannot keep track
Of promises I’ve broken
Of the wrong words I’ve spoken
Of the wrong things I’ve done
And the good that I’ve shunned
It’s always the same
Yes, always the same

I’ve failed the race, forgotten your face
No wonder that I run and hide
From the shame which burns inside
In the darkness I grope
Stumbling, falling, no hope
It’s always the same
Yes, always the same

But you’ve pierced the darkness
And you’ve pierced my smartness
You’ve pierced my heart, yes —
Now nothing’s the same
Now nothing’s the same

You’ve looked inside where nothing can hide
You’ve come down from above
And helped me up with your love
Your grace knows no season
It looks for no reason
You are Who You are
You’re always the same

And  you’ve pierced the darkness
And you’ve pierced my smartness
You’ve pierced my heart, yes —
Now nothing’s the same
Now nothing’s the same

Yes, You are Who You are
You are Who You are
And You’re always the same
Yes, You’re always the same

1Ti 6:12  Run your best in the race of faith, . . .

Psa 78:41  Again and again they put God to the test and brought pain to the Holy God of Israel.

Psa 44:15  I am always in disgrace; I am covered with shame

Psa 119:159  Your love never changes, so save me!

Heb 13:8  Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Deu 7:9  Remember that the LORD your God is the only God and that he is faithful

Job 10:12  You have given me life and constant love, and your care has kept me alive.

Psa 13:5  I rely on your constant love; I will be glad, because you will rescue me.

Psa 36:5  LORD, your constant love reaches the heavens; your faithfulness . . . to the skies.

Psa 115:1  To you alone, O LORD, to you alone, and not to us, must glory be given because of your constant love and faithfulness.

Psa 138:6  Even though you are so high above, you care for the lowly, and the proud cannot hide from you.

Job 34:22  There is no darkness dark enough to hide a sinner from God.

Pro 15:11  Not even the world of the dead can keep the LORD from knowing what is there; how then can we hide our thoughts from God?

Jer 23:24  No one can hide where I cannot see them. Do you not know that I am everywhere in heaven and on earth?

1Jo 2:28  Yes, my children, remain in union with him, so that when he appears we may be full of courage and need not hide in shame from him on the Day he comes.

Isa 59:9  We hope for light to walk by, but there is only darkness, and we grope about like blind people. We stumble at noon, as if it were night, as if we were in the dark world of the dead

Hos 14:1  Return to the LORD your God, people of Israel. Your sin has made you stumble and fall.

Joh 11:9  Jesus said, “A day has twelve hours, doesn’t it? So those who walk in broad daylight do not stumble, for they see the light of this world.”

Psa 139:11  I could ask the darkness to hide me or the light around me to turn into night, / but even darkness is not dark for you, and the night is as bright as the day.

Eph 5:8  You yourselves used to be in the darkness, but since you have become the Lord’s people, you are in the light

Rom 3:24  But by the free gift of God’s grace all are put right with him through Christ Jesus, who sets them free.

Jer 8:9  Your wise men are put to shame; they are confused and trapped. They have rejected my words; what wisdom do they have now?

1Co 1:27  God purposely chose what the world considers nonsense in order to shame the wise, and he chose what the world considers weak in order to shame the powerful.