Swinging Low

I was brought pretty low this week.

At times, such points of lowness come from outside sources. There might be conflict at the church, or rumors floating about, or a friend might be struggling in one way or another…

But this week, I was brought low alllll by myself.

If you read my post on “Tempted, Tried and Sometimes Failing” you already know that two Wednesdays ago I was dealing with all kinds of internal frustrations. Well…such has been the case for the past two weeks, fighting the typical ups and downs of pregnancy hormones, being continually brought face-to-face with my sinful tendencies, and repeatedly failing in my attempts to honor God in my attitude and in my actions.

As far as combat goes, it has been one of those ongoing battles where the soldier might successfully engage with and defeat one foe, but another one is right on his heels. And then another one. And then another one. In this case, for two long and wearying weeks…

It’s not that my life has been any less than wonderful. Our fence painting party. A great shopping trip with my Mom. Sweet moments of cuddling with the kids on the couch. Cooking with Chris in the kitchen. But intermittently my heart has not been as grateful and my nerves have been on edge; nothing unusual for a woman in the throws of a great physical and emotional upheaval like pregnancy…but nothing acceptable for a woman of God.

Now, please, before you do one of two typical things, 1. Feel sorry for me, or 2. Begin writing words of encouragement that I’m actually doing better than it seems, please listen to the rest…

There is something SO great about being brought low when you have a hope and a Savior. To be sure, I love those times in life when everything comes easily, when my Christian fruit is bursting off of the tree, when I am more kind, patient and loving than I am not, but I also dearly love something about these days, although difficult, when I see myself for who I really am…Poor. Desperately in need of saving. Completely unable to work up any righteousness for myself. A reprobate. A person who would naturally run from the Light…

Don’t get me wrong…I am not glorying in my sin; on the contrary, I am horrified by it. So horrified that, by the time I made it home from Sunday morning worship, I was weeping over the state of my heart. In light of Scripture, the Mrs. Gore that the world might applaud as an upstanding and moral speciwoman is found to be wanting, my good works filthy, my most common and natural state an ungrateful, high-strung, jealous, selfish, cruel, nagging, impatient, entitled b-r-a-t.

Which is just what the Bible says I am…

before Christ.

But after the redemptive work of God changed my heart from one of stone to one of flesh, the Bible says that I am no longer a slave to my sin. Which means…I don’t have to be ungrateful. I don’t have to be high-strung. I don’t have to be jealous or selfish or cruel or nagging or impatient. I don’t have to be an entitled brat…

And that is what this battle has all been about, and why “swinging low” has its perks. If it weren’t for Christ’s work in my heart, I wouldn’t care about honoring Him with my innermost thoughts and attitudes. There would be no fight. Holy moley, what grace! It reminds me of the third verse of one of my favorite hymns, And Can it Be, by the great hymnwriter Charles Wesley…

Long my imprisoned spirit lay fastbound in sin and nature’s night; Thine eye diffused a quickening ray, I woke, the dungeon flamed with light; My chains fell off, my heart was free, I rose, went forth and followed Thee. Amazing love, how can it be that Thou my God should die for me!

If I were still dead, if I were still blind, if I were still a prisoner, I would be completely unaware of my sin. But the great grace of God has opened my eyes, and granted me the privilege of engaging in a lifelong war against those horrors that still threaten to entangle me, covered safely by the blood of Jesus, aided by the sweet Comforter, the Holy Spirit.

Yes, those sinful tendencies might be peeking in my screen door, trying to find a way in. They might flare up twenty times a day for no reason at all. I might even have to engage in a vigorous two-week battle with them. But because of Christ, they will not defeat me. And because of Christ, I will see a continuous change in my weak heart until I close my eyes in death, a change that will not point to the upstanding and moral Mrs. Gore, but to that Savior who makes blind men see and lame men walk, a Savior who is even so gracious as to allow entitled brats to realize how very little they have to offer…and then He gives them the world.

Oh my, swinging low is hard. But the view from down here will make you want to be a bottom-dweller, for life.

Because you say, “I am rich, have become wealthy and have need of nothing” ~ and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked ~ I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him and he with Me.

Revelation 3: 17-20

2 thoughts on “Swinging Low

    • I don’t comment on here very often, but this was just the sweetest compliment – I will cherish your words and come back to read them on “Swinging Low” days. Thank you, so much!

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