As, in desperation, I devoured God's Word, it began to sink in as never before.
Subject: Ignore my previously morose missive!!!
Date: 1/26/99 15:38
It's finally starting to sink in! I re-read Galatians (by the end of all this, maybe I'll have it memorized
Then I read Philippians. It's all there in chapter 3!!! I felt almost like Corrie ten Boom must have felt when she was in prison and the Word of God seemed so fresh, so timely, that it seemed as if the ink shouldn't be dry.
Falling? I was never falling. I was in the Father's arms the whole time. Now I'm crying again, but it's joy this time. (Not sure if it's giddiness yet, though.
Subject: Words seem so mundane, but that won't stop me from typing a bunch of them
Date: 1/26/99 16:19
Hope you're reading these emails in order, or they won't make any sense.
When I was busy hurling myself off precipices, why didn't you suggest I read the book of Galatians? You did? You mean I read it and never noticed the part at the very end where it says, "And as many as walk according to this rule, peace and mercy be upon them..." Or what about right before then, where Paul says that neither circumcision or uncircumcision avails anything in Christ, that the important thing is that we're a new creation? How could I have not seen the hope and glory in all that? Why was I so intent on clutching my filthy little rags around me and then crying that God had so graciously removed them?
Mike, this is glorious.
And now I can even laugh at how dense I've been. Here I've been going around saying that if my children turn out to be any better than axe-murderers, it will be all God's grace, but I've somehow missed that message for myself. Or at least I've never plumbed the depths of it. And now I'm starting to taste it...and it is so incredible and so sweet.
Have I ever told you about my Opa? When he was a young married guy, he was really struggling with all sorts of stuff. He simply couldn't be the strong man of God that my grandmother wanted in a husband. Just one symptom of that---and a big bone of contention between them---was that he was horribly addicted to cigarettes. Well, he used to describe how God took him from Romans 7 to Romans 8. It was such a dramatic change that his customers (he was a butcher) commented on how different he was. He memorized Romans 8; if I close my eyes, I can still hear him quoting it in German. I thought I understood what he meant when he would tell me this story, but I realize now I had only the vaguest inkling.
I knew God's grace was amazing, but I had no idea that it was this amazing! You should have at least tried to tell me. Oh, you did try? You mean that's what you've been going on about all this time?
Well, if someone as dense as me could finally start to get it, there's lots of hope for all the Gothardites and Ezzoites out there!
Excuse me. It stopped raining and I have to go out and dance in the streets.
Subject: Just thought of something else!
Date: 1/26/99 16:33
There's this nifty chorus I learned decades ago:
Do this and live, the Law commands
But gives me neither feet nor hands.
A better way His grace doth bring
It bids me fly and gives me wings!
When I was a little kid, we found a bird who'd fallen out of his nest, a tiny falcon. One of the ways we helped teach him to fly---really soar, rather than just take short little flights between stuff---was to throw him up in the air as high as we could. My older brother would form him into a ball and throw him up, up and I'd watch him start to plummet back to earth, with his body still curled into a ball. I was always afraid he'd just smack the ground and die, but then he'd stretch out his wings, come out of the free fall, and soar off!
That's how I feel now. God showed me that He gave me wings a long time ago, and He's finally teaching me how to use them.
And now I'm crying again!