With only a couple more months to our school year, I looked at our math book table of contents and realized we are not even halfway through. Our curriculum does not give a lesson plan for the year; rather, it encourages the parent and/or teacher to progress to the next lesson only after mastery of the current lesson. We’ve been going at a turtle’s pace, which is a world of difference from last school year. It’s been less pressure on both my son and me since math was a subject of anxiety for him. Still, I was a bit discouraged, thinking how far behind we are.
As with most concerns regarding my son’s special needs, God uses them to enlarge my view of what He is doing. Frustrations aside, I truly believe God gave us Gabriel to draw us closer to Himself. I think of the many Bible verses that show us how “far behind” we are. Just to name a few: “… for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). “None is righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10).
But, God does not look down at us with a raised eyebrow, grading us for our performance. He is fully aware and wants us to also know that we will never fulfill His standards. Contrary to what many believe, there is no grand scale in heaven to measure our works and determine if we can enter. Even our best works will always be “filthy rags” before a holy God (Isaiah 64:6). Such news will leave anyone desperately hopeless, but God remedied our state through Jesus Christ. You see, Jesus perfectly fulfilled every letter of God’s standard. He lived the perfect life that you and I couldn’t. And, instead of the filthy rags that we are shamefully presenting to God, He has covered us with the garment of Christ’s righteousness. And in case you are wondering what happened to all our failures and sins, God did not simply ignore them, for He has not ceased to be just. He rightly punished those sins, and that punishment fell on Jesus when He suffered and died on the cross.
This is the hope for those who would believe in Jesus. No longer does the Christian need to look back and be discouraged at how far he falls short, but he can look forward to the promise that one fine day, he will be complete in Christ.
“Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:12-14)
(Photo credit: amboo who?)