When I saw something that reminded me of the past, I cringed in self-revulsion. Immediately, heaviness settled in my heart and I fretted inwardly because I couldn’t quite understand why that still happened to me after 10 long years of walking with the Lord. I analyzed my feelings and realized that they were not actually caused by remorse that I hurt my loved ones for what I did in the past. It was not even regret that I hurt God, too. All feelings of regret and repentance had long gone after God had completely forgiven me and received me, and the same thing could be said with my family.
It was this: I was feeling angry with myself for being a fool in the past, for tarnishing my good name, and what was I supposed to feel and think, and how was I supposed to react when these old friends and classmates reunite? After all these years of leaving the past behind and knowing the Lord Jesus, I still felt resentful with myself why I stooped that low in committing that sin. But the more prominent feeling was: Why did I still tend to reject myself despite the knowledge that God had accepted me wholly?
That night as I lay in bed waiting for sleep, I held on to the Lord Jesus fast. I closed my eyes and sang Worthy is the Lamb in my heart over and over. I was grateful that even though my heart could try to condemn and despise me, the truth still stands: I am forgiven. I am accepted. And I am His beloved.
I sang to Him, clinging on His strength and wisdom. Slowly, He soothed all the negative feelings away.
…if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. (1 John 3:20)
The woman taken in adultery: what was she doing with her life stooping that low to commit the sin of adultery and even be so indiscreet that she would be caught in the act? The woman at the well whom the Lord talked to: why was she ruining her life by going from one husband to another, and the sixth one that she was living with by the time she was talking to the Lord was not even her husband?
These women, before their conversion, were not at all different from me before the Lord found me. We were cast in the same mold: all broken and lost.
But when the Savior mercifully reached out to the adulterous woman crouched on the dusty ground and told her, “Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more” (John 8:11), her entire life was changed. She was altogether transformed. That was what the Lord’s love and mercy had done to her. And to me. And to the woman He met at the well who went running to tell the whole town about the Light and Hope that she had just seen and heard.
Later on when these women met the people who used to condemn them, gossiped about them, knew their past and looked at them with a knowing look – what might they have felt? Did they react like me? Or did they carry God’s grace confidently like a beautiful crown on their heads? Did they feel wary or hostile toward them, or did their hearts beat mercy for them, just as the Lord Jesus had been amazingly merciful and gracious to them?
If we know that we’ve been transformed by God’s love and mercy and are now new creations, why are we still concerned about the things of the past? For our reputations? (For this is nothing but pride and forgetting the grace of God which we have received). Why are we still visited by shame and affected by it? Why, when He took it all upon Himself?
Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all. (Is. 53:4-6)
Why did I want to change the story, my testimony, of how the Lord had shown His great mercy upon me and how He had designed it for His own glory? The formerly adulterous women (one is known to be Mary Magdalene, the other one was unnamed), they did not desire to change how the Lord was glorified in their lives. Their stories went down in history exactly how God had planned them. (I love those women; we’re kindred spirits).
I love You, my Lord Jesus, my Savior and Shepherd. I am not ashamed anymore. I am grace-filled.
Below is my most favorite music video ever. Why, it’s my story woven in Him!
I love you, too, my readers, but Jesus loves you more! May we all have a blessed Easter!
(Journey Through the Psalms Friday will resume next week).
I might be linking up with these lovely blogs.
Journey with Jesus,