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The Musings of a Stubborn Believer

Trophies of His Mercy [Glorious Fast – Part III]

“…to undo the heavy burdens…”

I love that word.

I love that word.

Schoolmaster holds up a bony finger and rants of paradises lost. Of opportunities wasted. Of moments, talents, thrown to the wind. Or worse.
Of the train of mistakes so long it takes an army of engines to pull them.
And that army of engines is me.
(And so, we get nowhere.)

Of the crushing weight of another failure.
Another moment I regret the second it is gone.
Of the shame that no one can understand because they know nothing of its source…

Schoolmaster’s voice shrieks this madness,
this madness that is real,
and I cover. cower. cry.

And then in the midst of this shower of burning brimstone a hand is raised.
And teacher’s tirade ceases on a goldfish-gulp of air, for sheer shock that someone might want to speak…
And the voice is quiet, but it is as solid as a rock.

“Is there no way to undo?”


–  –  –  –  –

I love that word too…

And it does undo.
The Hebrew word means more than just to untie one’s shoelaces.

It means to utterly confound, baffle, unravel…

I know.
I know, in the present-progressive.
Because I pace too, lion-like. Fists doubled up. Star-studded blackness outside french doors to bookshelf, and back.
And I dry my eyes, drop exhausted. Only to cry some more.
And I whisper–

“He restoreth my soul… He restoreth my soul…”

I have heard it said that “There is more mercy in Christ than sin in us.”*

I believe it.
Yes, there is a way to undo.

Oh, but schoolmaster shrieks again that the scars will always remain.

Yes. And even scars are trophies of His mercy–
A scar is infinitely better than an eternally open wound.

Thank you Jesus.

–  –  –  –  –

And so the soldier gets up from his face forgiven. Again.
Pure. again.

But only as he remembers what he himself has learned on his face will he be qualified to help undo burdens himself.

This is why we must never forget…

Be thou merciful. 

*Richard Sibbes


  1. Mmm… I love that word grace too.

    I know what it is to feel shackled. But I know what it is to find freedom. And to see scars as trophies. And to feel my hand clasped tightly in His strong, warm one.

    There is no better trade than to surrender your freight load of mistakes to the control of the true railroad Engineer. Because His engine transports those dirty, heavy cars to the bottom of the ocean blue.

    That is what I call grace…

  2. Oh. Wow. Were it not for grace.. There is nothing like that "pure again" when we know it is undeserved ..

  3. And my heart cries to see this world set free. . .

  4. Read the chapter "The Night of Wrestling" in Patriarchs and Prophets this morning. And this post reunderlined what the Lord said to me in those pages. "I will not let thee go, except thou bless me" is still ringing in my ears. Indeed, if the roots of sin are deep, mercy reaches deeper. Grace changes… changes even our name.

  5. And to think that the raised hand with the voice that gently asks for the undoing is scarred too… Scarred that our wounds may be healed.

  6. Grateful beyond words for this series Sean. Know that it's impact is beyond what can be measured. And know that in sharing your anguish, God is right there collecting every tear.

    "only as he remembers what he himself has learned on his face will he be qualified to help undo burdens himself …" Yes…I can't wrap my mind around this mercy that turns even our scars into blessings. But it is real. So real.
    May I not for a moment forget.

  7. grateful beyond words for this scripture…
    And blessed to be able to share…

  8. We can think of the word 'undo' in a positive sense or we can look at it in a negative sense. Jesus undid the penalty of sin for us! Amen!

  9. Brother, this is the essence of the gospel to me. Re-creation. Restoration. God doesn't evolve us back to holiness in His sight, He re-creates it in us! ("Our high calling", pg. 52.5). Thank you for sharing this! It is a huge blessing… 🙂

  10. (not same anonymous as commented on the last post)
    Thank you, I have been contemplating this same topic-shame-the shame remains, though unknown to others, the possessor stil bears that train, forgiveness, yes I believe it yet scars remain- but the greater the scars from lost battles of the past the greater the grace, the hope and power supplied, there is hope for those who fail- strength comes in the areas of greatest weakness.
    undo, yes undo, almost more than I can imagine, not just hide scars, undo?

  11. "Lord, we are in this world. We do these terrible defections against your law and your kingdom. Yet you simply require repentance!…and willingness to recieive your own perfect righteousness. Which you give to us in your Own Clean Pure Life!…and create the transformation in ours. Amazing! Profound! and Incomparable Exchange!"

  12. Be of good cheer.. Thy faith hath made thee whole

  13. Mr. Nebblett, how do you get there? How do you get to the place where your loathing for sin is so deep that your pleading is as for life? I want to be there, and I don't know how.

  14. Dear Anonymous,
    Thank you for this heart cry. The cry is the better half of it…
    This is not a place we "get," it is a gift He gives, to every child who has relinquished his right to himself, and keeps relinquishing it.

    We loathe what is wrong only so much as we love what is right.

    Our problem is that love for what is right is worn so thin by love for a million substitutes that will never be more than a mirage…

    Loving God again (truly) must necessarily ignite in us both the benevolence He embodies, and the firestorm He breathes.

    If detail would help clarify, please don't hesitate to email me?

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