What do you do with huge numbers? Anything involving space usually goes over my head. It is this way with really big gifts, like Jesus’ sacrifice, and also really big problems that are all too easy to find in this world.
George Herbert did not know how to respond to Christ’s Sacrifice. He was Thankful, but kept running into walls as he tried to respond in-kind to God. In The Reprisal, Herbert is seeking a way to “pay God back” for rescuing him.
I Have consider’d it, and finde/ There is no dealing with thy mighty passion:/ For though I die for thee, I am behinde;/ My sinnes deserve the condemnation.
Every way Herbert tries to respond to this gift, he sees that it is a circle that comes back to Christ’s sacrifice in the first place. So what do you do?
Yet by confession will I come/ Into the conquest. Though I can do nought/ Against thee, in thee I will overcome/ The man, who once against thee fought.
Herbert sees the best way to “pay God back” is to partner with Him in defeating the common enemy – his old self. This is an exciting focus, except, sometimes I forget that my old way is the enemy and wander back to catch up on old times.
Dying to self – it is hard to do. It includes not only our easily labeled sins, but also bad habits, fears, insecurities, and reputations. It is dying to the idea that “I know I cannot do that, so I won’t even try.” Sometimes it is stepping down stairs in a fog, not knowing how far down the ground is or what it will be like when you get there, but trusting God’s lead. Emotional burdens are like that for me. And some of the things I have struggled to pray for are sex trafficking and the foster system and so many other ways that people are hurt by those who should love and care for them.
But Jesus’ sacrifice is bigger than earth-problems. And when you shine a light on dark places, it begins to change them. (If you are interested in a real-life, successful sex trafficking response team, check out http://ourrescue.org/about.)
God, there are many problems that are too much for me. Too big, too scary, too involved. But not for You. God, help me to continue to understand what You have done for me, and what kind of life I can live now – not one of fear, but of relying on You. I need a big change. Thank You for walking us through it every step. To You be the glory, Amen.