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Lynna Clark: Sinner in the hands of an amazing God

Our very talented worship leader created a new backdrop at church. Square white plates attached to black walls reflect the light and make an interesting design. We asked him if a buffet line somewhere was missing some dishes.

Interrupting my deep spiritual thoughts about food David whispered, “It’s up there, to the left. Can you see it?

“Nope” I replied. Normally I am the “Spotter.” He’s usually the one peering over his desk saying, “Honey, have you seen my good pen?” or into the freezer, “I thought we had some more ice cream.”

This time no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t see what he was pointing out. I looked away for a time, then decided to give it another glance. There it was plain as day… the cross.

Similarly for the longest time I tried to see and understand the cross of Calvary. Should I give myself as a martyr or commit my life to good deeds thereby earning a place in Heaven? I worked hard to measure up to the standards of God knowing I could not. I remember reading the classic sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” by Jonathan Edwards in a high school English class. Written with such passion and fervor, it confirmed my great sinfulness. Much like the spider he described hanging by a thread over a raging fire, I too was dangling close to the flames of Hell. I dreaded meeting my Maker as I was well aware of my own shortcomings. Then one day, there it was, plain as day.

Suddenly I was no longer like Thomas the doubter, or Peter the denier. Finally I saw what John, who described himself as the disciple whom Jesus loved, understood. I rested my head on His shoulder like a child completely trusting. Rather than a furious angry God Who could justly drop me into a fiery furnace, He revealed Himself as the One who would enter the flames, walk with me and rescue me so thoroughly that my clothes would not have the faintest scent of smoke. For now I would be covered with the garments of His righteousness! No longer trusting in the filthy rags of my own making, like John I am loved.

“What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since He did not spare even His own Son but gave Him up for us all, won’t He also give us everything else? Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for His own? No one- for God Himself has given us right standing with Himself. Who then will condemn us? No one- for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and He is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us. Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean He no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or… No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours though Christ, Who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love.” –Romans 8:31-39

The cross would be mine to bear if I were to satisfy a righteous God on my own. Instead He sent His beloved Son to take it for me! He rose from the dead to give us right standing with the Father. Finally I can see it! The way of the cross is plain! Can you see it?

Now I find myself loved, forgiven, and accepted in Christ! A sinner yes! But a sinner in the hands of an amazing God!

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