Friday, March 18, 2011
Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account. Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:11-16
One of my favorite books that I read and reread as a child was the "Little Engine that Could". It was a hand-me-down when I got to it and I think I wore it out reading it. It is the story of a small engine with a mission - a mission too large for this small engine. And yet there were others who were dependent on the little engine, small children who needed a Christmas on the other side of the mountain - not these local children but children far away. Even as a small child and new reader, I understood what the symbolism meant and that confidence is drawn from love and compassion, not unbridled ego and self-inflation. There was a real need and so real love responded.
In Hebrews we are instructed as to what real confidence truly is - the need to draw near to God, so that we can be faithful in service and compassion for others. In our time of need, when we are weak and overwrought, we are encouraged to seek Christ in the hour of need, since he shares an understanding of our real human need and responds to us in perfect love. Real confidence is a gift from God, our willingness to admit our need and fully depend on the depths of God's love for us.
Today, as we continue to step out in faith, I ask God to help me to be constantly confident in Christ's compassion and love for me, knowing that alone I am unable, but in Christ Jesus I can be strong and compassionate in all things. May we all, with confidence draw near to Jesus, knowing that whatever we face today is a challenge worthy of God's love and support this day.