Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Brute Strength Behind Gentleness

I was brushing my daughter’s hair this morning, having a few more troubles with tangles than normal. She’s a redhead, and feels pain more vividly than others. With each little whimper, I tried to reassure her that I was being as gentle as I could, and I realized that in order to be gentle to her scalp, I had to be pretty severe in my grip on her hair, so that the pulling would not make its way to her delicate skin.

When we strive for gentleness in one area, there is a reality in the fact that we must overcompensate in another way for the gentleness to be effective. I actually thought about God, in His infinite wisdom and compassion for the lost – His estranged children. In order for His wrath to be turned away, and His gentle grace to encompass each of us, something brutal and terrible had to be redirected. And so, Jesus stepped into position, fully ready, while not at all guilty, and allowed death and utter destruction to come upon Him, as punishment for our sins – every time we messed up, allowed hatred to enter our hearts, reacted with vengeance, or allowed anything to take first place in our lives besides God Almighty.

It is good to remember that every time we are touched with gentleness, which is actually grace, something else had to receive the redirected wrath. Should this evoke guilt within us? No. Instead, my prayer is that it brings about a heart of thankfulness and a desire to become even closer to the One who made that sacrifice for us – the One who took our punishment so that we would not be crushed by the ultimate blow of the true consequences for our poor choices.

I am thankful that God weaves into each situation throughout our lives, beautiful yet simple lessons for us to learn... If we only have open eyes, ears, and hearts to receive them.