“Let those who know what you’re all about tell the world that you’re great and not quitting.” Psalm 40.16
On the surface, this part of David’s prayer appears to be one of confidence and trust in God’s ability to be continually present and real. The next verse begins with the infamous word “but” and we know the rest before even reading on.
How is it that we know that “truth”, we have a piece of true knowledge, and yet we still focus and dwell on our own plight? Last night I talked with God seekers living on the northwest coast of Scotland. They were bright, cheery, and full of hope. They also described the challenge of introducing God to a culture wrapped in centuries of tradition and formal religion. I found optimism and a desire to share everything they had. As the evening progressed, I discovered by own reflection matching David’s prayer. I have a piece of God knowledge and yet I recognize how big of a mess I am, how I possess nothing of which I desire.
The tension is, in itself, an act of unfaith. The great news is that God knows and understands. I easily forget that each step towards God carry with it the knowledge of one’s own failings. You and I are a mess; that’s a fact! We carry nothing of value; that’s a fact! God loves us not for what we carry; he loves us for who we are.
What do we do while God works his miracle? Should the knowledge that we are weak, imperfect and walking disasters hold us back? Do we need to be perfect before telling the world God’s great and not quitting?
Even as I ask, I realize how focused on self they are. What can I do about the person dying beside me? Do I let them die a slow, painful death; or attempt to help knowing that I am sick? The answer is clear. Do whatever you can whenever you can to whomever who can while always remembering it is God that saves!