My Hope is Built on Nothing Less…

9.04.13

As I was waking up this morning, my mind began to recount the story of my testimony. The Bible tells us that we overcome {the evil one} by the Blood of the Lamb and by the word of our testimony — Rev 12:11. But what got my attention this morning is the looking back at it all. Hind-sight being 20/20, it is very clear to me almost to the day when I stopped getting what I deserved and started receiving God’s amazing grace.

If I was to recount the story to you in all its grizzly detail some of you would be angry that God allowed me to repent (like Jonah was upset with God over Nineveh); some of you would have pity for me and not hold me accountable because of the manic state I was in and would rationalize that my bi-polar disorder was causing my destructive behavior; some of you would see the miracle in my still being alive, and fewer of you would realize that if my still being alive at that point was a a miracle what do we call my being alive and disease free (let the reader understand what I mean here)? And how do we categorize my being mentally and emotionally healed?  However, not one of you, upon hearing the entire story, would agree that I got entirely what I truly deserved.

What got my attention this morning is that “fate” did not deal me the hand I was playing — my own choices put those cards in my hand.  Maybe circumstances were stacked against me, but my actions and reactions could have changed the outcome, if not the circumstances themselves. You know consequences for our actions are the product of living. For instance, if I touch a hot stove with a bare hand I am going to be burned. I made the choice to touch the stove and the natural consequence took over. I was dealing with and living with the consequences of my own actions to circumstances that were beyond my control and many that I created. Let me tell you that if “Karma” is all-seeing and repays according to one’s actions, then the sheer wickedness of my actions, thoughts and heart should have caused “her” to create for me my own personal Katrina. But I can’t blame something that doesn’t exist for the hell I was living in.

There is a song that fits into my story right here called Mercy Came Running. In the middle of my self-made hell, with no obvious way out, the girl that grew up in church and knew all about Jesus finally came to her senses. I was tired and I knew I couldn’t keep going and I didn’t want to die like I was living. The moment I called out to God in earnest things began to change. For every step I took towards Him, He took four. He came to me where I was and a modern-day Prodigal Story has unfolded.

Guess what? There were still consequences I had to pay for my actions! Oh, but they were certainly not what they should have been! And I still have to deal with the circumstances of this life, but instead of relying on my own ways that seem right to me but lead to destruction (Proverbs 14:12), I trust in the LORD with all my heart and try not to lean on my own understanding. I work hard at learning to submit all my ways to Him (surrender is not easy), and as I do that He directs my steps and straightens out my pathway (Proverbs 3:5-6). It doesn’t mean the pathway is smooth and free of issues. But the LORD my God goes with me, whom shall I fear? He will not leave or forsake me — Duet.31:6. And He surely did not heal me mentally and emotionally just to reinstall a spirit of fear in me! But He has given me a spirit of power and of love and of a sound mind — 2 Tim 1:7

Listen, I do not deserve His love, anymore than a newborn baby has done anything to deserve her mother’s love. In fact, after all the pain that baby’s getting here inflicts on the mother, you would think there would be a resentment towards the baby. But there is an instant bond of love that is held only in the mother’s heart, The baby doesn’t know anything about love, or bonds, or Mother. What an amazing picture of God’s love for us! Oh the pain and heartache we have inflicted upon Him! But when He sets His eyes upon us there is a bond of love that develops in His heart that cannot be broken, even though we know nothing about keeping bonds, or of pure love, or anything about Him at all.

So as you go through you daily routine and you encounter people whose lives are in shambles for whatever reason (the reason is not really the point), if at all possible, talk to them and let them know they do not have to walk alone. Point them to our Hope and our Salvation, Jesus Christ/Yeshua Messiah. May your day be blessed and filled with shalom/peace.

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