Wednesday, July 16, 2008

It's all Greek to me...

I once heard someone explain a verb tense that the Greek language has that ours does not. I cannot remember exactly the name of the tense, but it was something like - perfect present participle...I don't know. You'd think I would, what with all the time I spent as an English major. In my defense, I was an English major and not a Greek major. Anyway, the literal translation indicates an ongoing action stemming from a past occurence. For example, if in the original Greek, we translate something as saying, "The book is dropped", then in the Greek, it would have literally meant: "The book was dropped, the book is being dropped, and the book will continue to be dropped." The basic idea is: once it begins to happen, it continues, it is ongoing. Any Greek scholars out there - please forgive me if I am butchering this explanation.

So I Peter 5:7 - Cast all your cares upon Him, for He cares for you. Something in that just really struck me tonight. I was reading something that said - God has plans for you, and he is caring for you. The "presentness" of the words: "he is caring for you" kind of grabbed me. (We call that a gerund, by the way.) I know He has cared for me in the past - I know He will care for me in the future. But it is rare that I really stop to realize that He is caring for me in this present moment. So that's what I did - I stopped to think about this moment. And to realize that He is caring for me. His love does not suspend itself when I think I am unworthy - I am just as unworthy now as I ever have been or ever will be. This is not the condition upon which His love is based. His love is based upon Him being God - faithful and unchanging. So when I read about Him caring for me - in the present tense - I thought about the ongoing Greek tense. He has cared for me. He is caring for me. He will continue to care for me.

And it is honestly just beautiful. A total revelation, and a new picture of His grace.

On further study, I found that the word for anxiety in the Greek is the same word for "cares" in 1 Peter 5:7 - "merinma". Cast your merinma - your anxiety - on Him, for He has (or is) merinma - anxious - for you. That kind of blows my mind. But then I think about my baby. And I think about how often I stop to wonder how she is doing, how she feels, if she is hungry, if she is comfortable, if she is happy...and I am just a human parent. I am "anxious" for her almost constantly. I go back to the verse in Matthew 7 - 'who of you, if his son asked for bread, would give him a stone?...If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him?' (translation mine)

It's the "how much more" in this passage (Mt 7) that has been interesting to me since I became a mother. When I stop to consider "how much more" God loves my daughter and wants to provide for her - for us - it's impossible to comprehend because, quite simply, I haven't even reached the depths of what I'd be willing to give up for her yet...much less One whose love for her is 100% perfect and complete because He is 100% perfect and complete.

So yeah. This is not really a musing from the Cove...the babe and I are having a slumber party at Shermee's tonight...just the same, I wanted to throw this out there. It's not everyday that I break out the Greek dictionary, and I definitely like to share when the beautiful things find me. The revelation that He cares for me - is just too wonderful for words. But I have at least tried to assign some to it in the hopes that they will also find you.

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