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Friday, April 1, 2016

Removing variation

It is good to know that in a world riddled with all manner of inconsistencies one thing remains totally and completely consistent - God's love and care are never going to change, nor are they ever going to wane.  My job is really focused on removing inconsistencies in how we deliver healthcare to our patients.  We put processes in place which are designed to ensure a certain turnaround time in testing, lab results, etc.  We design processes to avoid making errors with care such as safe medication dispensing and administration practices.  We even look at how we communicate with one another when "handing off" care from one clinician to another.  All because variation or inconsistencies place someone at risk - usually the patient.  I am grateful to know God doesn't change how he treats my sin - consistently extending grace where it is needed.  I am also grateful he doesn't change in his love for me - loving me even before I understood or appreciated his love.  My hope is that you can say the same in your life.

My dearly loved brothers and sisters, don’t be misled.  Every good gift bestowed, every perfect gift received comes to us from above, courtesy of the Father of lights. He is consistent. He won’t change His mind or play tricks in the shadows.  We have a special role in His plan. He calls us to life by His message of truth so that we will show the rest of His creatures His goodness and love. (James 1:16-18 VOICE)

God's plan for our lives has been prepared from time in eternity.  He saw you and I long before we were forming in the womb.  He even prepared the "sufficiency" of his grace to cover each of our sinful deeds, knowing full-well we'd struggle with certain habits, entertain occasional lusts, and succumb to temptations we might not have realized were so appealing to us in the first place.  That boggles my mind sometimes - to realize God "prepared" every measure of grace I would need to cover over my sins far in advance of me ever reaching out for it.  

It makes no difference if we have lived pretty "good" lives by the measurement of the standards laid out by society because that measure is flawed, my friends. Anything short of the perfection of Christ is "below" the standard God uses as a measuring stick when looking at his creation.  That means no matter how much I compare myself with the actions of another, I can never "validate" my actions as "better" than theirs.  We are sometimes misled into believing we can evaluate our actions against those of another - using that "societal norm" measuring stick. Truth be told, it is a short stick compared to the one God uses to judge each of us!

The only way we "measure up" is to accept the good and perfect gift of grace God extends through the gift of his Son's life.  Now, doing "good" isn't wrong, but we can never think what we "do" is what helps us to "measure up" to the standard God evaluates us by.  It is only by what his Son did that we are measured.  When God applies the "measuring stick" of his Son to our lives, we are over-shadowed by the grace he gives - allowing God to no longer see us as sinful, but as grace-covered!  That is indeed good news.

In all the inconsistencies of my stops and starts in this grace-walk with Jesus, I am comforted to know he remains consistent even when I don't.  How about you?  Can you say the same?  If not, there is no time like the present to throw away that "measuring stick" you have been using to evaluate your actions as "good" or "bad" and to allow the shadow of his grace to become the only measure we use in life - both in our own and in the life of those we walk this path with on earth.  Just sayin!