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If you're anything like me, you have keepsakes stored in a box. You know the whereabouts of the box. You know its contents are valuable. But true sentiment lies dormant until once again you hold near what is dear. The same is true for familiar Bible verses. We know where they are. We know they are meaningful. But until we "take them out of the box," we forget their sovereignty.
Today lets hold a keepsake up to the light and appreciate anew the brilliance of its promise and power.
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; he has sent Me to heal the brokenheartd,
to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison doors to those who are bound (Isaiah 61: 1 NKJV).
I see four facets of a priceless jewel:
- Salvation- God sent His only Son to give us something we do not have to strive for--eternal life through the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ. (Good news!)
- Healing- In addition to eternal life, Christ desires to heal our broken hearts. (Hope and healing.)
- Confession- Under no condemnation, we are free to confess our sins (including our sinful reactions to betrayal and abuse.) Here, survivors willingly embrace a journey where liberty is received over the emotions and destructive patterns that hold them captive. (Liberty.)
- Reconciliation:We are pardoned for sins committed against God, and neighbor. Christ opens the prison doors of "those who are bound." In time, we are empowered to forgive. (Forgiveness.)
As surely as Jesus insists that forgiveness come from the heart, He is intent on healing that same heart when it's too broken to forgive. Do you know what this means? It means that what happened to you matters a great deal to Him. But if you refuse to acknowledge the pain--and how you cope with it, you'll miss the beauty of this priceless truth. And the truth is, if Jesus appeared today He wouldn't standing in a corner, tapping his foot, waiting for you to hurry up and forgive. Can't forgive yet? Relax.
Just two days ago, I found myself weary and angry at God. When I mentioned this to two sister-friends, a look of concern came over their faces, as if to say: You shouldn't be mad at God. Without hesitation, I said, "It's okay to be mad at God. He's big, and He can take it." (This gave way to gentle smiles.)
I don't have "three points and a poem" for you today. I'm not at all compelled to tell you how you should or shouldn't feel. To write in such a way that it overshadows what God wants you to see in yourself as it relates to Isaiah 61:1, is not my style.
I shared how I see it. Four facets of a jewel. How the brilliance of each facet pierces through personal weariness and quiets my source of anger: lack of control.
What do YOU see?
You are not alone,
Published on Friday, October 19, 2018 @ 1:13 PM CDT
It all matters.
All of you.
All that's happened to you.
And all you must face as you muster the resolve to show up for life each day. Life is not an X-Box game. You can't mute the swear words inside a broken heart bleeding real blood. There's no pause button for the overwhelmed. No high-score to obtain for the number of times you force a smile in one day and proclaim to be fine when you're not.
Not everything that happens to you is okay. Some experiences are not okay and are not ever going to be okay--ever.All manner of abuse is not okay. Whether or not the person who's hurt you awakens to the harm they've inflicted is inconsequential to the story of how you are going to be okay.
You can be more than okay. You can. But you must keep moving forward in a journey likely to require a fresh take on what it looks like to move forward.
If you've suffered indignity, indifference, and injury--be it emotional, verbal, and/or physical and you recognize it as abuse, you are moving forward.
If you've recently separated from an abusive partner, you are moving forward.
You are moving forward.
Take heart. When you find yourself in an immobilized heap on the floor, you are still moving forward.
When rage supersedes your ten-week Bible study and the capacity to walk with your head held high in "Christian countenance," you are moving forward.
The mornings you laugh out loud at something completely inappropriate--after having cried yourself to sleep, you are moving forward.
The long nights you stare blankly at the ceiling, wondering if God sees you, you are moving forward.
When you shout to heaven with clenched fists, "Why don't You care?"--you are moving forward.
The shoes you charge that aren't in the budget.
The Chardonnay you consume 'cause you just can't take it anymore . . .
This is all of you, moving forward.
And it all takes place in the palm of God, who holds the whole world in His hands. This includes you. And everything you schlep into a Bible story of faith and frailty because this time, you are the main character.
You are not alone,
Published on Monday, June 25, 2018 @ 7:30 AM CDT