It has been some time since a flapped my gums, or played sticky fingers with my laptop … since I’ve blogged about weakness. The whole point of this whole thing is a deep confidence that the whole of ourselves is wholly weak the whole time we live in this whole life under the sun! So why have I failed to blog about weakness… or at all for that matter.
First, personally things are busy and hectic at home and at West Valley PCA. God has continued to bless and work in our home as we adjust as a family (even 3 years into this) to living in the North East. We just bought our “lifestyle” house, a mile from the home we have owned the past 2 years. What a blessing to still be able to walk/bike to work, to the coffee shops and farmers market… and yet to be a bit removed from the buzz, and to have a house with some space and kids rooms and play room and garage! Thanks to God for his undeserved gifts.
On the church-front, we are continuing to seek the face of God and be astounded by his provision at West Valley. God is gathering weak believers, missional believers, in addition to weak and broken unchurched skeptics who return hungry for something that is just beginning to whet their palate. So I am trying to learn how to lead a church that is 9 months old and dealing with gospel-incarnation, community needs, space constraints, and vision/identity ownership! May God remain central and glorified, gathering whom he would for his glory – our SOVEREIGN GOD alone is planting this church. We long to be the conduits of a kingdom that is from eternity, to eternity “in our West Valley as it is in heaven.” Suffice to say, my joy and submission to God’s calling our family here for such a time and season and people and gospel-work as this is envigorating. As such, blogging has been less-exciting, and less of a call to my wandering mind than it was before the winds of my soul have changed… Thank you for dropping us off here, O God.
And so I say all of that to blog an ounce about weakness. Specifically, this morning I think of all my weakness (tiredness, sin-ness, self-ness, soreness, etc.) in connection to believing in the comforting biblical truth that God has providentially ordered all of our days, our finances, our rooftops, our street names, our church facilities, our growth stages, our discipline needs, our hard-lessons learned, etc… even as he has predestined our “election” as his eternally redeemed children who have no other hope than his call and care and conservation of our very selves whom he has effectively given his grace, first to last.
What am I saying?
I can’t believe I am a recipient of the mercy of Christ, by his sovereign grace and election alone. That in my weakness I am all the more in Christ who rescued my broken frame from a world of pain solely because of God’s election to glorify himself by the extension of his mercy to one who has done NOTHING (Eph. 1:4; 2 Timothy 1:9). I deserve to be a recipient of wrath, that he might be glorify his own justice. But in Christ who gave my righteousness and took my just punishment, I am a recipient of grace, that God might glorify his own mercy! And so I ask the only thing I can ask (even as a PCA pastor who has studied and made vows regarding the biblical doctrine of election): why me, O God? I did nothing to deserve or receive your mercy! Weak and impotent that I am to stop sinning, to love others well, to speak truth in love, to pastor people the gospel-treasure… Why me?
That question changes everything. Everything is put in context! I am weak but will worship my electing rescuer. I am humbled to engage the broken around me, because I have done NOTHING to not be broken – God and God alone has elected to restore what I can’t fix. I pray you know this gospel of God’s sovereign grace to bind up the broken of NOTHING in them and ALL for his glory.
How many Christians stumble on in weakness, burdened with doubts that would be erased if only they knew their salvation rested not in themselves but in God? The doctrine of election tells us that it was God who sought us and not we who sought him; that God called us to him self in time because he chose us in eternity. (Richard Phillips)