What did you see when you looked in the mirror this morning? Did you see a sagging face, gray hair, no hair or even hair in the wrong places? Do you still feel, like I do, that you are that 18 year old looking in the mirror and wondering what in the world happened? What changed? When I look in the mirror, as a child of God, I see the robe of Christ's righteousness wrapped around me.
I've always hated changes. At least that is what I've always told myself. What I hate, or dread (a more accurate term) is anticipating change. The actual change isn't usually as bad as I dreaded...and sometimes is actually fun or exhilarating. Then afterward, there's the typical thought, "Well, that wasn't so bad." or "I'm so glad things changed."
My life this past year has been so full of changes. A year ago, I had a (seemingly) healthy back, a sick body, 30 extra pounds of fat, a child who walked way too close to the line (actually stepping over the line would be more accurate), an illusion of freedom from sin...the list goes on and wouldn't make sense to many. Now, one year later, I am mostly recovered from surgery, coping with moderate back concerns, 30 pounds lighter, witnessing a child making some really good choices, and now very aware of my sin nature (though fully clothed as a saint thanks to Christ).
I'm am fully moved into the stage of life where I feel very vulnerable to unexpected changes. So many people I know have failing marriages, failing dreams and failing health. I'm only 47! What will it be like when I'm in my 60's? Yet, despite all that I could worry about, I have so much to be thankful for. For most people, its not death we fear; we fear life. I was reminded this morning that we don't enter the cemetery to stay there. We merely pass through...like a tunnel.
Today's sermon was about thankfulness and sainthood, based on Psalm 30:4. Pastor Ekhoff asked, "Did you see a saint in the mirror this morning?" He reminded us that we are saints through Jesus Christ, along with those saints already in heaven. We saints are one fellowship. That's a comforting thought.
1 I will exalt you, O LORD,
for you lifted me out of the depths
and did not let my enemies gloat over me.
2 O LORD my God, I called to you for help
and you healed me.
3 O LORD, you brought me up from the grave;
you spared me from going down into the pit.
4 Sing to the LORD, you saints of his;
praise his holy name.
5 For his anger lasts only a moment,
but his favor lasts a lifetime;
weeping may remain for a night,
but rejoicing comes in the morning.
6 When I felt secure, I said,
"I will never be shaken."
7 O LORD, when you favored me,
you made my mountain stand firm;
but when you hid your face,
I was dismayed.
8 To you, O LORD, I called;
to the Lord I cried for mercy:
9 "What gain is there in my destruction,
in my going down into the pit?
Will the dust praise you?
Will it proclaim your faithfulness?
10 Hear, O LORD, and be merciful to me;
O LORD, be my help."
11 You turned my wailing into dancing;
you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
12 that my heart may sing to you and not be silent.
O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever.