Thank you God for sending your Son to walk an earthly life, setting an example for a people in desperate need of someone perfect to follow. The selfless love through the cross and resurrection sets believers in a place of undeserved grace and salvation. I pray that we would never take that for granted but instead we’d walk in obedience, closer everyday, toward you. Thank you, Lord, for this wonderful Easter season.
Through some really traumatic childhood experiences, where blame could be directly targeted to certain individuals, I’ve learned forgiveness by the grace of God in ways that only make sense through Him.
Things that many would’ve deemed unforgivable I was able to humbly hand over to God who replaced those hardships with divine peace.
When I reflect back to those early years of my life, with the wisdom I’ve gained since, I now recognize numbness must have began building as the afflictions happened.
Finding faith years later actually made it very easy to forgive those who were guilty because I was so far-distanced from feeling the hurt I had experienced. God’s goodness in my new-found faith was so powerful and contagious that it exceedingly outweighed the darkness.
The only way I can understand it is because I believe in the beauty of God’s mercy and grace and I see his work upon it without a shadow of a doubt, plus I consider how desperately I’m in need of his forgiveness for my own self-imposed errors.
Forgiveness in those major adversities from my younger years just isn’t something I struggle with.
…BUT somehow lately I’ve felt a small nudging of bitterness within me from petty offenses done to me by others more recently.
Subconsciously I guess I’ve tallied them up and now they slowly ooze over me. This is not an experience I wish to have linger around, and quite possibly it reverts back to PTSD from my little girl years unfortunately.
I’m more aware of hurtful feelings because my mind and heart are grounded to Jesus these days. Words or actions of betrayal are something that don’t just go unnoticed on my radar. I can actually feel and process my hurts at this point of my life, it’s a good thing but God has shown me that often times I react negatively.
That negativity that I’ve started to compile transfers as sin and doesn’t fit the necessary mold of Christianity.
I actually tried to avoid writing this post and even went blank last week to come up with a different post as God continued to gently prod me in this particular direction while I fought against it. I’ve wrestled through the words but have realized the timing of digging through this is perfect.
Because it’s Easter week I’m doing a Bible reading with my family in the mornings and evenings, recounting the last days of Jesus’ life. The lessons to be taken in are refreshing reminders.
When I think about the cross my mind inevitably races to Jesus — his willingness to take our sins upon himself out of a love meant to glorify his Father is the most amazing of phenomenons. Man I just never want to be comfortable enough to take that truth for granted. I don’t ever want to feel like I’ve (personally) allowed him to suffer in vain.
The reality of it comes down to the very fact that Jesus shed his perfect blood and died for those big sins I experienced when I was too young to know better — and he also died for the sins of others that I call petty but still get bent out of shape about. On top of that he died for the sin of bitterness I try and tuck away among my other character flaws.
He died for ALL sin. (1 John 2:2)
Had Jesus’ life completely ended at the cross I would be pointlessly seeking a freeness from my sins…we all would.
But the FULLNESS of the life-giving, glorious hope of the Easter story isn’t nailed and halted at the cross like our sins were…we can’t end there…because when we look at the big picture we move on from a sacrificial cross that served a holy purpose, to an empty tomb that provides and points to a sacred resurrection celebration!
God doesn’t want us to hold onto sins of any sort, no matter their size or place on our life’s timeline — if he did, there’d have been no reason for Jesus’s death to begin with.
If (as Christians) we are to replicate Jesus’ example of love, obedience and glory to God then my sin-issue of clinging to offenses must give way (John 14-15). Anything other than that takes advantage of God’s mercy and grace.
My goal is to do better in recognizing my irritation in the small things (and the big) before they have a chance to negatively impact my emotions. And to remember that the cross shows the commitment of forgiveness and love our victorious God has for us — in whom there is no place for sin to be found at all.
With every single breath of life I’m blessed with, that’s something I want to continually place my hope in and follow after wholeheartedly!!
Over the past few weeks I’ve been substitute teaching each afternoon for a woman who’s out on maternity leave. I’ll finish out the school year as long as the kiddos don’t scare me off!
Wednesdays are still my hair day where I go to the nursing home and doll up salt and pepper colored hair, so I’m not at the school that day.
Interestingly the class I’m teaching is music class and my knowledge is slim but growing. I tell the kids I’m learning right along with them. It’s been fun. They’re fourth and fifth grade and easily humored, but can also be a handful some days. Continue reading “His Work Was For You And Me”