So this morning I was lying in bed, mentally reviewing the month of October. And truth be told it didn't look too good. From most angles, October appears to have been a pretty lousy month. At the beginning of the month I rolled my ankle while running (I also narrowly avoiding being hit by a car, as I fell almost directly into it's path when I rolled said ankle). This minor injury caused me to miss almost 2 weeks of training. This mattered simply because I was preparing to run my first Half Marathon. When my ankle recovered I eased back into running, then went for a 10 mile jog the week before the race. My knee was pretty sore after the run and at the time I thought I had tweaked my knee. But the following Saturday my knee was still hurting. It hurt at the beginning of the race. It hurt worse during the race. By the end of the race I could barely walk. Couple hours after the race I couldn't walk at all. Turns out I've partially torn my meniscus (which, though a terribly unpleasant thing to experience, is actually a fun word to say--go ahead, say it a few times. I'll wait.). To top all that off, on the way home from the race, as I grumbled about my meniscus (isn't that fun?) the transmission on our van went out.
Now that brief summary should make plain to you the joy of the month of October. Lots of stuff went wrong. Lots of stuff happened that was very frustrating. Some of it was quite embarrassing. The point is, I thought I had lots to grumble about. But as I mentally replayed this disastrous month I was reminded of the things that made October great, even though I thought it was terrible.
I've got an amazing wife. She loves me. She takes care of me when I do stupid things like run on a messed up knee (even though she's been having heart & blood pressure issues for a while now). She is an incredible mom. She loves Jesus. She loves her church. And to top it all off, she's pretty dang good looking. A gimpy knee and worn out van hasn't changed that.
I've got some incredible kiddos. Lily, Emma & Owen are a constant source of joy and/or frustration. Just kidding. Mostly joy. They are an absolute hoot to be around. They even finished my race with me! Through all the frustrations of the month I can still rejoice in my precious children.
Most of all, nothing that happened this month has made any changes to who I am and where I stand. Jesus is my righteousness before the Father. I've been clothed in His good works and all my sin has been placed on Him. In Jesus I've been granted adoption, redemption, and justification. God's wrath was poured out on Jesus, my substitute, and nothing can change that. I choose to glorify God for last month. I can thank Him and worship Him for this month, and for all the months to come. Why? Because nothing that happens can change what He's promised. In Romans 8:38-39 Paul writes, "For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." God's love for me is wrapped up not in what I do or what happens--it's all contingent on Jesus. And He has secured that for me forever. That means that neither gimpy knees, nor worn out vans, nor ungrateful creatures like me will be able to separate me from God's love.
This month, despite all my grumblings and frustrations, God has not cast me off. He hasn't grown weary with me and washed His hands of me. He has continued to love me and care for me. And He will do so forever, because of what Jesus has accomplished on the cross.