Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Psalms 103: 8-12 tells us," Merciful and gracious is the Lord, slow to anger, abounding in mercy. He will not always accuse, and nurses no lasting anger; He has not dealt with us as our sins merit, nor requited us as our wrongs deserve. For as the heavens tower over the earth, so his mercy towers over those who fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our sins from us." I was drawn to this passage because I was listening to the Casting Crowns song East to West this morning. It is a beautiful song filled with longing and pain. But it also has a redeeming tone. The scripture passage is filled with comforting reassurances that our Lord is just and merciful. Knowing that God forgives our sins and then moves them away from as as far as the "east if from the west." brings comfort. Thinking in the broad context of how far the east is from the west is what the writer is trying to evoke here. The east and the west never meet. They are polar opposites. The space between them is endless. Often we hear things like this and dismiss them with a surface understanding. This passage invites us to dive deeper. God nurses no lasting anger. He proved this again and again when He forgave the Jews throughout the Old Testament despite their humanness. He is still forgiving us each and every nano-second of the day. How lucky are we that our God is slow to anger? Where would we be if He were not? Casting Crowns sings "The chains of yesterday surround me, I yearn for peace and rest, I don’t wanna end up where you found me." This speaks straight to my heart. Don't we all yearn for peace and rest? God brings peace and rest. So many folks are lost searching for peace and rest and it is waiting for them if they would only turn to God. That is the task of our every day. We must tell our brothers and sisters about the peace and rest being offered by God. We must tell them about His graciousness and mercy. And we must remind them that God forgives and moves their transgressions away as far as the east is from the west.