Everyone I know, including myself, has hit a brick wall at some time in their life. Whether it be a career, personal relationship, or health issue, we have all come to a point where we realize we are not in control. We cannot do it on our own.
My brick wall professionally came in 1993. I have the privilege of serving as the Director of Bethany Christian Services. Bethany is an adoption and family service agency which started in New Jersey some 55 years ago. In 1993, however, we only did a few adoptions. My secretary and I were the only two employees in New Jersey. I did not know how the ministry would continue. There was a moment when I held out my hands to God and said “God, please take away my anxiety. Please take this agency, as it was never mine. It is yours. Please do with it what you will”.
Putting this in God’s hands was so liberating! My anxiety was miraculously gone, and God has done some amazing things. Since 1993, He has seen fit to have us establish offices in Manhattan, Rochester, and Albany, NY, and one in Danbury, CT. We have completed hundreds and hundreds of adoptions, placing children in loving Christian homes. I have been privileged to work with birth-moms and dads who have voluntarily surrendered their children for a better life then they were able to provide at that time. I have witnessed sacrificial love beyond my wildest imagination.
How does this relate to righteousness, you ask? God is completely righteous, and I can do nothing without Him. All that I am and have is a gift. My salvation, my very being, right down to my breathing belongs to Him. In that moment in 1993 I surrendered my “professional” will to God, and He gave me treasures I could never imagine. He does the same thing with my righteousness every day as I surrender my claim to my own righteousness, and embrace what he Has already done on my behalf.
Righteousness is a free gift, given when we are completely empty, unable to do anything but lift our hands up to God. We earn nothing, but in Christ, we receive everything. That is the good news of Christmas!