Friday, September 21, 2012

I Am Who...

Recently I was walking in the park and came upon a pleasant, white-haired lady sitting in her walker seat in the sunshine. I had my hair tied up in a scarf and was carrying a bunch of wildflowers and a worn-out memory work paper, so perhaps looked a strange peasant, but I couldn't miss the chance to stop and chat with her about the sunshine, the goldenrod and life in the neighborhood. As I walked on, wishing I could have addressed her soul, and wondering if I should have troubled her at all with my sudden friendliness, wondering if she thought my manners bad, I thought of the 'old days' when everyone knew what polite manners were and what there place in society was. I had nothing of the sort..always wanting to be polite and always terribly fond of people or slightly afraid of them, and not really knowing when to laugh aside reticence, or reign in affection.

Inwardly, I sighed and began to philosophize,"Well, I am who I am, and that's just it."

Do you just realize what you said? That's God's name: "I Am Who I Am"

What of it? Am I not also who I am - not self-existent like God, but nonetheless myself?
No, I am not. I am continually becoming what I am being made. God is who He is, was, and always will be. I am always becoming, being formed by Him who is into what He wants me to become. This is what I realized as I reflected on my botchy conversational skills and irregular personal charms. The creative work of God in my life is ongoing and real. Here is the very cheer that a self-weary heart needs to hear - I will not always be who I am. I am not who I was, and tomorrow, much more in eternity, I will not be who I am today. Here is joy! "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. (2 Corinthians 5:17) And the new that has come in Christ will keep on coming till He comes.

Here also is hope for the earthly union of two sinners in marriage. My spouse is not "I am who I am". Neither am I, and God is using our very union in the process of becoming who He is making us to be. I can be patient with my spouse's imperfections, and he can be patient with mine, because we are redeemed for further redemption. Also, we can 'submit ourselves to one another out of reverence to Christ' (Ephesians 5:21) and accept our need to change personally. We are meant to change, dying to ourselves and living no longer for ourselves but for Him who for our sake died and was raised. Failure is not cause to despair but through the Spirit to eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness and press on.

Thanks be to God that He is who He is - so perfectly good! - and that I am not. Life is a glorious adventure - even when it's messy and embarrassing - learning to become what He is making us for that final great day, when we shall stand "blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy" (Jude 1:24). Oh to look at myself and others with such eyes of faith always!

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