I like stories. Often times I read articles or blogs and then quickly forget what was said or communicated. But stories are different. I remember stories and they help me hold on to what is being taught. I hope this short, imperfect story helps us remember what makes us righteous before our God is Christ. That's it. Not our earthly success, not our beauty, not our accomplishments, not our money, and not our doing - just Jesus.
A Short Story.
There once was a woman who lived in a kingdom ruled by a good king. One morning she awoke to an announcement that the king desired to share his inheritance with anyone that could bring to him something that deeply pleased him. The woman, thrilled by the announcement, instantly got out of bed and began packing all her prized possessions. She packed her fine jewelry, perfumes, and gold she had secured away for many years. She packed her most beautiful clothes, woven from the finest of materials. She packed her accolades of honor and accomplishment. She packed all she had in hopes that she could offer something of value to the king. The woman, living far away from the king’s palace, set out on the long road ahead.
As she journeyed, fatigue from the strenuous road began to take its toll. Her back began to ache and her legs struggled to sustain the great weight of the load she carried. Yet, she reminded herself to continue forward, for the king was waiting. Longing to capture his attention, she rehearsed in her mind how she would present her precious possessions to the king and how she would demonstrate all of her gifts and talents.
The blistering sun beat down on her face and her lips began to crack from dehydration. Her back was weakening from the swelling pain of her heavy load… until finally it was too much to carry. Her knees crashed into the gravel dirt road. The remainder of her body collapsed to the ground with the weight of her pack suffocating her every breath.
Just when she thought it could not get any worse, two men hiding in a cleft jumped out at her. They shouted, “Give us all you have!” Screaming she clinched her precious pack, but their strength overtook her and with one foul blow to the face, she was rendered helpless.
The woman now barely breathing on a desolate road, robbed of her treasured belongings and left for dead saw a man faintly in the distance. He was riding a horse advancing in her direction. She closed her eyes in fear knowing she was alone and defenseless. As the man drew near he saw the woman in trouble. He quickly jumped off his horse, stooped down, and picked her up. He immediately gave her water from his pack and bandaged her wounds. He asked her, “Woman, where are you going?” She replied with her last bit of strength, “I set out to see the king in order to bring him something that might please him. But now I have nothing to offer.” The man holding her said, “I know this king and I know that he is good - let me take you to him.” With no strength left she agreed to let the man take her to the king.
When they arrived they found, hundreds of people waiting outside the king’s palace. The woman asked the man to wait with her until it was her turn. When the time had finally come for the woman to stand before the king, fear began to overtake her. She knew that he was good, but she had nothing to bring; nothing to give. The man that rescued her told her she did not have to be afraid. He said to her, “I will hold your hand and walk you to the king.” So the man did exactly that: he held her hand and walked beside her as she stepped toward the king’s throne.
The woman, now standing before the good king, hung her head and said, “I am ashamed, for I have nothing to bring; nothing to offer.” Before the woman could finish her story the king abruptly stood up and with great joy he shouted, “Today this woman has brought me the one thing that deeply pleases me. It is the only thing that will ever or could ever please me. Woman, the hand that you hold is the hand of my son. You have found the one thing that deeply pleases me. Behold all that I have is yours…”
4 But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
I am no expert on any topic. I am writing just to share in my journey of learning to abide in my Maker.