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A Breath on the Balance

I was watching a television show with my family about two men who travel the country bidding on abandoned storage units. I know that, in reality, most of these units have nothing more than junk and worthless items but the few that are featured on this program always have surprising treasures. This time it was a collection of gold mining equipment. They discovered a warning horn that was powered by hand-operated billows and a nearly band new sluice (looks like an old-fashioned washboard and was used to separate sand and dirt from the chunks of gold).
Included in the find was an Austrian made scale used in an Assay office. To assay means to test the purity of precious metal and during the gold rush miners would take their gold to one of these offices to have it appraised so they could sell it, hopefully for a handsome price. As you can imagine, there was plenty of corruption that went along with the process of determining the gold’s value. As a result, these scales were in a glass case so both the owner and the appraiser could see everything that was happening. Together they would see the scales hanging in the case with both sides levitating at the same level. They would both see the scale dip to one side when the precious metal was placed on it. They would then both witness the scale level off as the assayer placed marked weights on the other side of the scale. It was all done publicly, transparently, and collaboratively.
This piece of equipment caught my attention because I had just read Psalm 62:9, “Surely the lowborn are but a breath, the highborn are but a lie. If weighed on a balance, they are nothing; together they are only a breath.” I had been thinking that morning, what would it be like if my life were measured on a balance? How much “weight” would God have to put on the other side to level off my struggles and accomplishments? It seems like it would be a lot to me because my life seems big to me. My problems seem big because they are my problems. My concerns seem large because they are my concerns. My victories appear weighty because they are my victories. And yet, this verse says that all it would take to level off the scale God uses is a breath!
This statement, of course, is the setup rather than the conclusion. In this same Psalm, David refers to God as his rock three times. Twice he refers to God as his fortress and his refuge and confidently proclaims that his soul finds rest in God. He has figured out that God is the standard and the weights used to determine our value and contribution to life are His power, His righteousness, His honor, His love. Compared to His abilities, we are but a breath. When He begins to live within and share His abilities with us, however, we become “more than conquerors.” (Romans 8:37)
As I looked at that glass encased balance, I realized a day is coming when God will put my life on one side and then figure out what would need to go on the other side to level out the scale. I am extremely grateful that Jesus will be standing on the scale with me!

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