As a normal, flesh-wearing, sinful, and finite human being, I have done a lot of questioning. I know better, but I also know that God would rather have me honest with him. It’s impossible not to wonder why life happens the way that it does, so I might as well be truthful to the God who already sees my questions.
And he is so kind, and patient. Even in the midst of my questions, he comforts me. Over and over, he whispers, “Peace, child. Trust me. I know what I’m doing.” I believe him. My questions stop for the moment – and I sigh, looking forward to the day when all questions will cease, because all answers will be made known. (1 Corinthians 13:12)
Still, it never fails. I always come again to a place where I’m asking the same questions again, expecting God’s answer to change. As if he owes me. After all, I’m his child. I’ve given my life to him, and am trying so hard to follow his will in faithfulness.
How quickly I forget, in my sinfulness:
“Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! ‘Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor? Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him?’ For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.” ~Romans 11:33-36 (NIV)
Even if I were to give up my very breath in the name of Jesus, I would still be the debtor in this relationship. There is nothing I have that God needs. Nothing I can give that will enable him to do more. No prayer I can pray, words I can speak, or deeds I can accomplish that will put any kind of significant dent in the great debt that I owe him.
He has given his Son so that I can live forever.
As I read that beautiful doxology in Romans 11 this morning, my heart was struck deeply. “Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him?”
Who, indeed? He owns the cattle on a thousand hills. He created the heavens and the earthy simply by speaking them into existence. He is the King above all Kings, the only true Sovereign in existence. Nothing happens without his notice, permission, or action. Who am I to question?
He doesn’t owe me my father’s health. He doesn’t owe me stress-free days. He doesn’t owe me health, wealth, or prosperity. He owes me nothing.
Jesus paid it all, all to him I owe.
That one single line from a song I hear all the time imprinted itself on my mind, and I had to look it up. Sure enough – in it was another gentle, merciful rebuke from my Sovereign Lord, Jesus Christ. A rebuke far more gentle than I deserve.
I hear the Savior say,
“Thy strength indeed is small;
Child of weakness, watch and pray,
Find in Me thine all in all.”
Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow.
For nothing good have I
Whereby Thy grace to claim;
I’ll wash my garments white
In the blood of Calv’ry’s Lamb.
And now complete in Him,
My robe, His righteousness,
Close sheltered ’neath His side,
I am divinely blest.
Lord, now indeed I find
Thy pow’r, and Thine alone,
Can change the leper’s spots
And melt the heart of stone.
When from my dying bed
My ransomed soul shall rise,
“Jesus died my soul to save,”
Shall rend the vaulted skies.
And when before the throne
I stand in Him complete,
I’ll lay my trophies down,
All down at Jesus’ feet.
~Elvina M. Hall, 1865
Jesus died, my soul to save! I will give up trying to pay my debt. It will never happen. I will keep striving, leaning fully on Jesus for strength, to give him glory by living a life pleasing to him, and let his grace cover me in everything. I surrender.
All to him I owe. All to him I will gladly give.
Grace & Peace,