Sunday, August 7, 2011

Passing muster

He who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.  – John 5:24 (NKJV)
This has been a summer of milestones. Anyone who’s had surgery knows what I mean. I rejoiced when I was able once again to prepare supper, do the dishes, make the bed, do the laundry, drive to town, carry something weighing more than five pounds, and sit at the computer for more than 30 minutes without muscle spasms in my shoulders and upper arms.
So a solo trip to Minneapolis last week was a real test. Now, I don’t like driving through Pittsburgh, so whenever I fly, my husband drops me off at the airport before work. Which means 5:30 a.m. so he can get back through the tunnels by 6. Which means we leave the house at 3:30 a.m.
Since my flight didn’t leave until 12:20 p.m., and I wasn’t too keen on getting up at 3 a.m., I drove to the airport myself. Which meant no help lugging a suitcase, a CPAP machine, my laptop, and a briefcase which doubled as a purse—and you know how heavy a woman’s purse can be. But I divided up the weight and was able to get everything in the Explorer myself without overdoing it.
Then, because I don’t like driving through Pittsburgh and my cervical collar would limit turning my head (driving through Pittsburgh, as you know, requires eyes on every side of your head), I took the longer way down—Route 422 West, then I376 East, instead of Route 22. More miles, but less traffic and anxiety.
After I checked in, I still had my CPAP, laptop, and briefcase to lug to the gate. I made it with no spasms. But when I got to Minneapolis, the walk to baggage claim seemed endless. I had to stop and rest halfway there. But I made it. When my husband texted me to ask how I was doing, I responded, “I passed muster.”
The return flight was a different story. A canceled flight, a delayed flight, and a missed flight brought me home a day later than planned, exhausted but pleased with myself. I’d lugged three bags through three airports and drove three hours one way, and made it home no worse for the wear. I passed muster.
I’ve passed muster in the eyes of God, too. But not through my own efforts. To pass muster means to be judged as acceptable. How can I, who still stumble into sin, be judged as acceptable to a holy God? Not by lugging around a heavy load of sin, but by believing that His Son took away that baggage when He died on the cross. His grace alone saved me.
Passing muster—being judged acceptable by God—means accepting His grace.
Have you passed muster?
Thank You, God, for providing the way for me to pass muster. Amen. 

Special-Tea: Read Romans 8:1-8

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