Wasteland / by daniel hamlin

If I were to be completely honest, I never would have thought that I would be getting up in front of people (particular in a church setting) to share about my friendship with Jesus. It’s not something I’ve ever really had a desire to do. I don’t enjoy public speaking, much less talking about something that makes you as vulnerable to public scrutiny as talking about one’s faith does. I’ve only been doing this sort of thing for a short while and already I’m acutely aware of my shortcomings.

As a result of this tour, I’ve been forced to confront some inner dilemmas that have been easy to ignore over the years. First and foremost is the fact that just because God may use or call you to do something for Him, it doesn’t make you any less sinful. I’ve always known the doctrine behind this concept, but until I experienced the reality of it in my own life it was just that—a doctrine. Now I’m intimate with the scary truth that even though the Lord may have asked me to share about our relationship, it doesn’t void my desperate need for grace. In fact it just makes that need all the more apparent and essential.

For much of my life I’ve feebly crawled through the wasteland between sinful and sanctified. Face down in mire, struggling to make an arms length of progress, I slowly and painfully tried to force my way out of sin's reach in my life. I’ve lived much of my life in this wasteland. I’ve spent enough time there to take up residency. I’ve listened to teachers and preachers tell me why I have no excuse to live anywhere but within sanctification’s borders. I’ve heard great men proclaim the reasons why sin’s boundaries should never touch our lives. I understand the definition of sanctification and I’ve heard great sermons on the subject. But still my progress toward its borders seems to be at the rate of a wearied crawl. And now, here I am, sharing about the miraculous and life-sustaining friendship I’ve found in Jesus, all the while painfully aware that even if I don’t take up residency within sins borders, I’m still dirtied by its residue in my life. It has produced an inescapable truth—I’m more in need of His grace today than I have ever been. And I'm thankful it is His resource that is ours for the taking, a resource that can't be exhausted.