“God, who got you started on this spiritual adventure, shares with us the life of His Son, and our Master, Jesus. He will never give up on you. Never forget that.”
1 Corinthians 1:9
Though my dark and broken days are truly behind me, still the memory of them can almost instantly be before me and try to wrestle the joy of a bright morning into the deep abyss of a black night. Even an answered prayer, a relationship restored, or a wound healed can suddenly be the catalyst for a remembrance of from whence I came, and to say it plainly, WHENCE was not a lovely place, and I have no desire to return, to go a-visiting, or even to recall that locale in my thoughts.
The heartbreak of that time in my life was that it did not occur before I first gave my life to this loving and life altering Savior, but rather it planted itself right it the middle of my Christian life, glaring and grotesque like a fatal accident on a green and grassy highway.
The trouble with this tragedy of my own doing, is that I simply had to go there. I not only lacked in understanding how truly each and every human soul has the capacity for darkness, but I also had a strong dose of human capability that I unwittingly relied on at every turn.
No, neither life, nor death, nor fire, nor loss, nor lack of funds, nor illness could break me.
A household of children, bring it on, add a husband struggling with pain and addiction, let it be…and where empathy and graciousness towards my fellow man should have been the hallmark of my life,I became a clanging gong. Even to the ones I loved most, mercy and grace was not my portion.
Years have passed since the days of my descent in the darkness of mental brokenness, blatant sin, and hurts inflicted on those that I should have loved, and without question I deserved no kindness in return.
The Message translation of Paul’s letter to the Corinthians notes that he writes his letter not to a people who have never known Christ as their Master, but rather to a people who while in Paul’s presence came to know the saving grace of a loving God. In Paul’s absence, young and not mature in their faith, they returned to their old strongholds, and like me relied on tried and true behaviors. Paul does not reject them, nor does he condemn them, but rather he affirms again his love, and even greater the constant love of their savior, Jesus.
I have no tales that I will tell of my past errors in judgment, though others should they choose to, can always point the finger. I am grateful that those days are behind me, and grateful for the enduring love of my Father. My stubborn strength, and my foolish acts brought me to my knees, and gave me the certain understanding that should no man have ever sinned, I alone had failed so greatly, that I would need His tender forgiveness and be oh so desperate, for His healing redemption.
I gave Him my nothing, so that He could give me his everything.
Sometimes I am surprised when suddenly I realize that one more time, He has turned my failure to something sweet, healing the heart of ones that I have wounded, or changing me at the very core to one who truly desires to love and build more than any other thing that I can think of, and again I am reminded that it is His kindness that brings us back to him.
I know it brought me.
"Mercy triumphs over judgment." James 2:13
My merciful Father, heal the wounded hearts of those who have faltered in their relationship with You. Show them with clarity just exactly who you are. I deserved your wrath, and I found your forgiving arms to lay down my weary head. How we need you.
How I need you!
I am forever grateful,