Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Back Pain

My back is killing me.

     I'm almost 4 weeks in visiting the chiropractor and the pain has been increasing steadily since then. I find I have less energy, less motivation, and much more difficulty performing basic tasks. To make matters worse, I'm not even allowed the decency of complaining because the reason my back hurts in the first place is because it's in the process of being corrected.
     Oh sure, It all sounds so clean and precise after the initial assessment, when I'm told of a few minor points of concern, the potential harm of leaving them un-addressed, and the simple process for getting bones in the right place again. Of course now I'm beginning to think that a 6-12 month correcting process never feels long until you hit week 3 and your spine feels like it's made of porcupines.
     Ironically enough though, this experience is illuminating my study in Hebrews and how the author encourages the church to persevere under God's discipline and to accept his correction as a sign of love and adoption. He teaches how all discipline is part of a process and that this process will always involve pain. But it's because of love not hate that we experience what we do in Christ. How else does God show love to our dislocated and wayward hearts if not by placing us lovingly under his discipline? To submit to God's discipline is not to be out in the field taking hit after hit from God's shotgun every time a hint of imperfection arises, like some never ending game of cosmic Duck Hunt. No, like a chiropractor God knows what he's doing.

Plus He's patient enough to give us lasting relief and not the cheap cover up that the World so readily offers.  

"For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it." - Hebrews 12:11

It's still true today, we are in good hands.


Jake Rivers

Thursday, November 3, 2011

White-Out Style Conscience Cleansing

"Where there is forgiveness of these [sins], there is no longer any offering for sin."
- Hebrews 10:18


Weird idea.

    The part I don't like about it is the admitting part. I'm fine with the forgiveness that waves me through the metaphorical airport customs, blind to all the junk in my past. If forgiveness is a "let sleeping dogs lie/don't ask, don't tell" ordeal, then that is fine by me. Frankly, the less said about my screw ups, the better! My ideal Christian life would be one in which every mistake I make is greeted with blank stares and subject changes.
No attention. No detection.

I want a forgiveness that says:

"It never happened."

     But that is impossible. My memory alone is too vivid. I'm stuck with the wretched feeling of dysfunction as I identify myself the factory that mass-produces wickedness. The labour alone of white-out style conscience cleansing wearies me to death. I'm the guy with the roll of paper towels trying to dry off the rocks beneath a raging waterfall. I can't cover it all up. No one can.
     But in Christ, Sin is dealt with at the cross. Christ is not my assassin, hired to creep into my past and snuff the evidence of my screw-ups. He is the willing assassinated Saviour for sinners. To Him belongs a light that brings revelation (not concealment), to all the sin in my life. In fact, this exposure is so great that it reveals atrocities beyond my deepest fears!
     But how tremendous the power of the cross, that the great unveiling of sin becomes the damning sentence for Christ Himself! In his great authority he has laid claim to what once claimed me. And how much greater, that by that same authority He killed my sin (punching it right in its ugly face!), and graphically portraying its repugnance as a further testament to His greater glory. Christian forgiveness is as bloody as it is liberating. And it is good news. No other forgiveness can so thoroughly meat my desperation.

For I need a forgiveness that says:

"It is Finished."

"For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."
- 2 Corinthians 5:21


Jake Rivers