Lord, use me, my words, to touch people and show them your amazing grace, your real truths which can heal their hearts.
Throughout most of my Christian life, I have struggled between God’s grace and his wrath. I believe the Scriptures, that he is both a God of justice and a God of love.
Often, however, it has been hard for me to look at the Old Testament Laws, and the violent justice that was done in those times, then look at my sin and believe that God can forgive me.
I believe that Jesus died to forgive my sins, but I’ve often found it hard to let that give me peace. To truly believe that God has chosen to forget my sins and remove them as far as the east from the west, according to Psalm 103.
A book by author Tessa Afshar, A Pearl in the Sand, came at just the time I needed it.
I have been reading in the books of Exodus and Leviticus. In these books, I read about god’s wrath against sin. I also read about many laws which overwhelmed me. I’ve read these books a number of times before, but right now, they’ve particularly bothered me.
A Pearl in the Sand is about the army of Israel taking over the city of Jericho, as well as Rahab and Salmon’s love story. In this book, which is fiction, Rahab’s family is being taught the law so that they can join the Israelites.
During the lessons, a lady who weaves beautiful garments learns that she can no longer make garments of two kinds of material, such as linen and wool. The lady who teaches her about this says that Israel has many laws which are hard to understand. She says that God wants them to set themselves apart for himself. He doesn’t want them to fall into the habits and practices of the nations who worship false gods.
He has given them laws to make themselves different, separate to him, so they won’t be caught up in the sins of the other peoples. She said maybe someday, God would write his truths of being different on their hearts, and they wouldn’t need all of these laws anymore.
As I read this fictional account, I knew a peace from my struggles of reading the books of the law.
I have been a student of the Bible for over forty years. I have heard all these truths again and again, and I believe them.
I know about God writing his law on our hearts.
Romans 2:15: They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.)
I know Jesus said he finished the law, completed it.
John 19:30: When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
I believe God loved us so much he sent his son to die for us.
John 3:16: For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
I know he planned this from the beginning of time.
2 Timothy 1:9
For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time—to show us his grace through Christ Jesus.
And yet, my fears come to me. The devil knows how to hurt me personally in ways that work especially on me and my fears and sorrows.
But if this fight comes to me again, I have a new tool to use against it, the words of this precious story. The work of this gentle author who has used wisdom given to her by God.
This motivates me even more as a writer to put into words for others things that will teach them about God’s love and grace, personally, in their special fears and doubts.