Saturday, March 25, 2000

Fear of the Lord

Should you not fear me? declares the Lord. Should you not tremble in my presence? I made the sand a boundary for the sea, an everlasting barrier it cannot cross. The waves may roll, but they cannot prevail; they may roar, but they cannot cross it. But these people have stubborn and rebellious hearts; they have turned aside and gone away. They do not say to themselves, 'Let us fear the Lord our God, who gives autumn and spring rains in season, who assures us of the regular weeks of harvest.'
(Jeremiah 5:22-24)

Do I fear the Lord? Do I tremble in His presence? I love, praise, and respect Him, but do I fear Him? There are times in my life when I take the Lord's goodness for granted: "Oh He'll forgive me!" There are other times when I defiantly disobey Him.

Fortunately for me, the Lord and I have come to an understanding. When I take Him for granted or I defiantly disobey Him, He punishes me - swiftly. For example, back in college I was at a club and I made a joke in very poor taste about a person's appearance. I knew I shouldn't have said it (let alone thought it) and I knew I was going to pay. After a couple hours of dancing and partying, I rushed home to change for our senior night cruise. I took a quick shower, threw on a t-shirt, placed a University of Miami hat on my head, and headed for the college to catch the bus. As I approached it, I couldn't believe my eyes. People were dressed as if they were going to the prom (tuxedos, suits, dresses, gowns, etc) and there I was looking like I was heading to the gym.

It was without a doubt one of the longest nights of my life, but also a very important night, as I earned a healthy amount of respect for the Lord. As the years have gone by, I've come to welcome the Lord's punishments - not because I enjoy them, but because I want to fear Him.

The University of Miami hat still sits in my closet. It hasn't been worn since that night 7 years ago, and probably will never be worn again. But it never fails to remind me of the man I was then and the man I long to be.