Faithfulness springs up from the ground, and righteousness looks down from the sky. Psalm 85:11
I love that image. Humanity and God meet somewhere in between our faith and His righteousness.
We worship a God who so desires our companionship that He sacrificed Himself to bridge the gap. In other religions, mankind strives to reach a state of goodness so that the Holy can become a part of their lives. Few in those religions achieve that state. But for the Christian, all we have to do is admit we are not good enough and ask for mercy. As Paul says in Romans, we have all fallen short.
Our faith response -the desire to do good and tell others about His righteousness – springs from gratitude, not a burdensome duty or a series of rituals. That faith is grounded in His love and justice. It springs forth in response. No ladder climbing, rung by rung to reach a new level of holiness. God reaches down to us and lifts us up as a father does his child.
Mo matter how deep of a hole we dig ourselves into, all we need to do is cry out for help. Our Lord is there with a lifeline to pull us out and back into His grace- a lifeline He stretched out upon the Cross once and for all. Somewhere between our whimper of faith and His glowing righteousness, our souls meet His and are made pure again. Our trembling hand stretches up while His arms of love, which can reach into any situation, are there to grab onto us and draw us near to Him.
His righteousness reaches down from the sky. It is only when our faith in ourselves wanes and our faith in a God who loves us springs up that we notice His arms of love have been there all along, stretched out and waiting.