Hey, Mr. Bad Guy,
The last time I talked to you, it may have sounded like I'm bitter about what happened and that I think I'm so much better than you. That's really not true.
Yes, I am angry about what happened. It was wrong. But no, I'm not bitter. Bitterness would eat at my soul and destroy me.
I am not bitter, but I have tasted something very bitter. When we chew on bitter food, we scrunch up our noses and say, "Eeeewww!" In the same way, as I carry my daughter's pain, I recognize the foul taste of this fallen world.
There is something significant in the bitter taste. My Jewish friends eat bitter herbs as they celebrate Passover. It is God's way to remind them that they were once slaves in Egypt, and slavery is bitter. God Almighty set them free. Life was once bitter, but no more.
A small taste of bitter reminds us of where we once were and does wonders for our thankfulness.
As I was writing the last post, I was tasting the bitter, and was reminded of my own rescue. I don' t think myself better than you. In fact, I'm not so very different from you, Mr. Bad Guy. I was once a "bad guy". I had junk that I wanted to hide, so people would not think poorly of me. As I contemplated the harsh truth, I asked myself if, in my life, I had ever believed any of those lies. The answer is yes - most of them. My sin is not the same, but my skewed thinking was in line with yours.
I used to think I was worthless and I treated others like they were too.
Now I know that I am valuable and God loved me enough to die for me. Other people are just as valuable --- even people who have hurt me and my children. And orphans, they have a special place in God's heart.
I used to think I was big and in control.
By my actions, I proved that I couldn't even control myself. My sin controlled me. I was a slave to it.
I used to think what I did didn't matter to others.
I didn't see it until afterward, but my sin affected so many others --- me, my husband, my kids, the youth I lead.
I thought there were no witnesses.
Jesus was there. He saw what I did.
I thought no one would ever find out.
...you may be sure that your sin will find you out. Numbers 32:23.
Little did I know that I would confess my sin publicly after a simple question from a 7th grader. I was brought to my knees when the reality of my sin and it's affect on others hit me. At that moment, I knew I wasn't a good person. I was utterly spiritually and morally bankrupt.
Busted! My whole self-righteous charade was busted!
I was at the end of myself. That was when I looked to God and begged Him to forgive me. I wanted to be right with Him, but I had so screwed everything up. And that's when Jesus scooped my broken self up and held me close. He brushed away my tears and dusted me off. He gently lead me to discover who He is. He taught me the truth.
And one day, I asked Him to be Lord of my life. I would no longer be in charge of my life. I would submit to Him in everything.
And with that comes the greatest freedom you can ever know.
I thought I would get away with it.
But what about my sin? Does that mean I just get a pass? Did I get away with it?
My guilt weighed heavily on me until I was forgiven. And, even now, the consequences are in place.
My sin was not overlooked. It was paid for. Jesus took the punishment that I deserved. The seriousness of that does not escape me.
One day, I will stand at the judgment seat, and as the Father looks at me, He will see the righteousness of Jesus Christ, instead of my ugliness. I'm covered with Him.
You could be covered too, if only you will seek out who He is and submit your life to Him. I pray you do.
Blessings to you,
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