(I have to confess I stole the inspiration for this one from my husband's teaching of our Sunday School class on Sunday morning. Thanks, honey!)
My husband and I have had the opportunity to watch our grandson Jackson play T-ball. It is quite entertaining watching these five and six year olds attempt to hit, throw and catch the ball. Often they are more interested in digging in the dirt and catching bugs than swinging the bat or catching the baseball.
Sometimes when attempting to run around the bases they will fall down. You would think the natural inclination would be for them to jump up and start running again, but they often seem to like their prostrate position in the red dirt. The coaches then yell at them and cajole them to get up and run.
Often in my own Christian life I have fallen down as I try to "run the bases." Just like the children on the baseball field, I seem to be oblivious to the obvious course of action, to get up and start going again. Sometimes it seems like I have fallen down so often surely the Lord is tired of me falling down and He would rather I just stay face-down in the baseline. But if I do, I will be a stumbling block to the next base-runner who might not make it to home base because I tripped him up.
Fortunately, the Lord doesn't see things the way I see the them. His view is much different from my view along the red dirt of the base-line. When I sin, His view is of the Lord Jesus holding out His nail-scarred hands and showing His spear-pierced side where He paid the price for my sin. The Lord Jesus doesn't have to twist the Father's arm to forgive me either. His heart is already bursting forth with forgiveness and mercy toward me. "He delighteth in mercy," (Micah 718.) The Holy Spirit, already resident in our hearts as believers, then with the enthusiasm of that delightful mercy whispers to us, "Get up!"
Over and over He tells us, "Get up and start walking again!" He never tires of coaching His little children to walk, to run toward home base. He wants us to run, that we may obtain, knowing that "they which run in a race run all...", "...Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible," (1 Corinthians 9:24, 25.)
So, let us not stay lingering in the dirt of the base-line, but let us avail ourselves of the forgiveness our Lord has already purchased for us. Let us avail ourselves of His ready merciful heart and "press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus," (Philippians 3:14.)
"For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive;
and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon Thee."