– Secret Place Insights –
Dear One, it is not often that one refers to Leviticus for inspiration, but lately I am being inspired by its repetition. It has been speaking to me about how every detail here on earth matters to God. No detail seems to be too small to be of concern to Him.
Such detail made me think of my 10th grade, home economics teacher, Mrs. Stroud. When I was sewing my first fitted skirt from a piece of expensive, red-plaid wool, she had me begin by making the darts. Repeatedly. For she was not satisfied with my work. She had me pull out the threads so many times, that I was afraid the fabric would fray before my skirt would ever meet with her approval.
Not only did the angle, and the depth, of the stitching have to be perfect, each dart had to be nearly the exact length – to 1/16th of an inch. And after sewing a seam, and turning the fabric to the right side, every line in the plaid, even the thinnest, had to line up as if the fabric had never been cut. It seemed excessive. But I learned from that patient, and diligent seamstress that keen attention to detail produced perfection… a work of art. I soon came to appreciate the dedication of Mrs. Stroud, and the fact the she never seemed to tire of teaching me to measure accurately, cut precisely, and stitch perfectly.
One morning this past week, as I was reading about the detailed instructions that God gave to the Israelites through Moses for various atonement offerings, such as grain, fellowship, sin, and guilt, I was struck again with God’s propensity for details…for perfection.
My thoughts moved from God’s teachings of perfection to my lack of it; for often the things I should do, are not the things that I do. But such thinking quickly ceased, for God brought my downward spiral to an abrupt end with ‘sympathy,’ His sympathy. God? Are you sympathizing with me over my failures, my sinfulness? It seemed as though He was.
Oh yes, I thought. Being that God is omniscient, all-knowing, He knows of my proclivity toward sin, and of the barrage of obstacles that Satan uses to trip me up. God knows far better than I what I am up against.
Oh, how foolish I am…to think for one second that the God of perfection does not sympathize with our lack of it. Of course, He sympathizes. That is why He provided the path to Him through offerings of atonement. And, when the Israelites failed with that method, He gave them, and all others, another way to seek atonement…through Jesus Christ.
I left my quiet time, realizing that even within my sinfulness, I am not alone in my effort to serve God, for He is sympathetic. No, He cannot accept sin, for being Perfect, He cannot accept imperfection. Sin does separate Man from God. But He is so sympathetic that He accepts true repentance through His Son, and reopens the door to Him through the sweet fellowship of the Holy Spirit…the very One who taught me another lesson that morning.
Though Mrs. Stroud was patient, and never seemed to tire of guiding my hand, only flawlessness would result in a perfect grade. It is different with God. If we confess and truly repent of our sins, through the sacrifice of Jesus, God looks upon us as clothed in the Cloak of Righteousness… as if we were a perfect work of art. Such sympathy, “Thank you, Lord.”
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize
with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in
every way, just as we are – yet was without sin. Hebrews 4:15 NIV
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