The law of the Lord is perfect,
reviving the soul;
the ordinances of the Lord are true
and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold,
even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey,
and drippings of the honeycomb. - Psalm 19
My two- week-old daughter absolutely hates it when her hands wiggle out of her swaddle. She cries out against her circumstances in what I imagine is translated loosely as:
"Treachery! Villainy! How could it have come to this?!"
Then I redo her swaddle and she quiets down. Wrapped up tight, held still, she feels secure and all is sweet peace for a time.
A time in which her hands are busy wiggling out again.
I would find the whole thing frustrating, but I do the very same thing.
I know that I'm supposed to do the right thing, but I'm always wiggling out of it. Love God with my whole heart? Maybe I'll hold back just a little, just in case. Love my neighbor as I love myself? I'll just settle for politely ignoring them. Love my enemy? Seems downright naïve these days.
I know what I am supposed to do, but I wiggle out of it. And very quickly my life falls into a state of disarray. Circumstances spin out of control, feelings are hurt, people are hurt, my own behavior is much to blame. I never meant it to happen—how could it have come to this?
The Law of God isn't like iron shackles, holding us back. The Law is more like bands of swaddling cloth, wrapping us tightly, keeping us safe and secure. When we stop fighting the soft, strong bands of God's Law, sweet peace is not so far away.
God, let me love Your Law, and follow it.
John Edgerton is Associate Pastor at Old South Church in Boston, Massachusetts.