Stories, thoughts and reflections on the Bible from the WSFC Staff.
As many times as I look at the fence on the west side of our house I will be reminded of God’s mercy.
In that run of fence there is a single board that now serves as a reminder. This is His reminder to me: The Savior intervenes in my life, just as I am, when I simply and honestly call upon Him. He makes the changes in me that redeem what I have done. He replaces my way with His way.
At long last, the fence was rebuilt this spring. For several years I justified the old fence. I believed in a new fence. But I had to not only admit that it was needed (we agreed on that fact years ago), I had to actually do the work. My son-in-law came to lend a hand. We demolished the old fence, removed the debris, and began to map the new construction. Holes were dug at the proper intervals, posts set in line, and soon the rails were in place. If you do it yourself, the job costs much less, and you might learn a few things along the way.
The keys to success are: Straight and level, measure twice, cut once, just like dad always said. So then, why, a little more than halfway through attaching the fence boards did the level “suddenly” say that my work was half-a-bubble off? Why? It was spot-on at the end of the first two sections. The fact was that I had stopped checking the level as often as when I first started. I can trust my tools when I’m doing the right thing in the right way. But not long after I assume that I’ve got it and leave out a step or two in the process, my way usually ends up off track – or in this case, off by half-a-bubble. It’s actually an accurate illustration of my life, and yours. Where the fence was concerned, I decided to determine the correction needed in the next board. I didn’t dismantle what had been done, as perhaps I could have done. The next board would do the redeeming work. It is the one slightly odd shaped 1×6 I see when I look at my fence. I measured twice, cut once, and when it was hung, regained a right relationship with the level. Keep going to the level from here forward.
So, where our actual life is concerned, what do you do when you finally agree with the “level”? By the way, Jesus Himself is our level. He says, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you shall find rest for your soul. My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 18:25. Notice that He doesn’t say, “Go back and dismantle everything, and let Me know when you’ve perfected your life.” Instead, He delays judgement, steps into your life at the moment you simply call upon His name in humble willingness to go His way, and provides the mercy you need (see Romans 3:21-26; Romans 5:8; 1 John 1:9; Acts 2:38; 1 Peter 5:5-8).
If you judge my work on the fence and conclude that I was lazy, you would be correct and get no argument from me. But now I love that one corrective board. It reminds me of my Savior’s love and mercy. “God demonstrates His love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). The end product stands on the line between us and our nice neighbor, and it looks great, adjustments and all.
Rejoicing in His mercy,