blogging my way through the everyday

Every Saint has a Future and Every Sinner has a Past

I heard the Oscar Wilde quote in a song this morning on my way to our Easter service.

In the inevitable ups and downs of everyday life, I happen to find myself more down than up, lately—emotionally. But that’s okay this time around. I know I’m gaining ground spiritually. I’m sucking the marrow out of whatever the season is serving up as a side dish. Finding it’s even possible to be joyful and hopeful when I’m not particularly happy; when some circumstances loom like dark destroyer clouds ready to drop their bombs.

But the sap of my life runs from a profound place where nothing can touch it. Like God promised, I am becoming a tree planted by a stream that does not wither in times of drought.

When Jesus called I answered. When it was time to seek, I sought. And though I sometimes stumble, I have turned where He’s asked me to… because He made it possible.

Often I feel alone. Faith is not fun when the world’s chill beats at your best intentions and hammers down on your resolve. This graveyard of dead trees is haunting and unkind.

But deep within, where the riches of His kindness and grace have hewed out a sparkling spring, I drink deeply.

My roots have ravished the soil in their desperate quest to stay alive. Years without much sunshine; harsh winds, storms and winter chill have forced them down to places I never knew existed, and I feel each tendril wrapping itself around the Rock of Ages with all its might.

This saint has a past. A past that howls through those barren trees in a tormenting mockery of the way things should have been. It curls its spiny tendrils around the dry twigs of my regrets and snaps my feeble dreams in two. It reminds me that so much of my desolation is my own fault; rubs my nose in the reality of how my wrong choices have hurt others. It wants me to stay frozen in the winter of its torment for good.

But, oh, this sinner has a future!

It springs from within—no matter if the sun is shining or the storms are rolling on. Or even if I don’t live up to my own expectations. It splits the deafening silence with the loud laughter of everlasting life, bellowing assurances carved into all creation from before the foundation of the earth.

It shouts, ‘Forgiven!’ It resonates, ‘Paid in Full!’ It burns away the chaff of winter’s wicked taunts in the unquenchable passion of His mercy.

How timely our last Beth Moore Bible study lesson happened to coincide with Easter. A few weeks back we wrote down the personal, besetting sins that have troubled us and each took our turn nailing them to the cross.

The object lesson tore into my soul like lightning striking sand, melding and transforming it permanently into something beautiful. I had never sensed, so deeply, my own guilt—not anybody else’s; mine—that crucified Jesus. My sins He took on that cross. I think the recurring revelation will still lacerate the memory of my pride and rejuvenate my gratitude a million years from now, whenever I see the scars that testify of a Saviour-God Whose Holy justice could only be avenged by His own unrelenting love.

Yes, this sinner has a past I can’t deny,

 

and a future I cannot wait to embrace.

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10 responses

  1. Our Pastor used an old Yogi Berra quote this morning, “It ain’t over ’til it’s over!” So true. But you know that every morning is Easter morning. New every morning is God’s love, so it’s always important in the low times to remember to hang on until tomorrow. Many thought jesus was down for the count, that his ministry was “over.” Shows how important it is to stick aroun until the end of the game. No one knows what could happen next to turn the world around! Only one thing lasts forever: God’s redeeeming love. It’s never “over.”

    Happy Easter! Christ is risen!

    April 24, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    • What you said, Paula. Thanks–and Happy Easter back at you. 🙂

      April 24, 2011 at 7:23 pm

  2. susan

    This post was indeed timely. I go through amazing times when sin remains a foreign 3 letter word. Then out of the blue this one sin which creeps slowly takes over and before you know it I’m captive and must fight tooth and nail to regain my ground. The good news is that it is taken less and less time as the years go on. It’s so nice to hear that others struggle as well. Indeed I am soooooo grateful for Jesus and his gift to me.

    April 24, 2011 at 10:06 pm

    • Thanks, Susan. It’s good to know we all relate on some level.

      April 26, 2011 at 8:10 pm

  3. This post is so beautiful! Just like the love story of our savior!

    I have struggled a lot lately and I was once – what I felt – at a very, very good place.

    I have come to understand, there will be ups and downs, times of closeness and feeling far way, but always, always he is there. And I can’t comphrehend what he did for me. The power of that…WOW.

    I know he is smiling on you and the glory you give us to know him better through your eyes.

    🙂

    April 26, 2011 at 7:21 pm

    • Thank you, Angelia–you are such an inspiration, and your comments very valuable.

      April 26, 2011 at 8:12 pm

  4. Heather,
    I am happy to have found my way to your beautiful blog. You have a wonderful way in painting the scene before you.

    Your description of the past: “A past that howls through those barren trees in a tormenting mockery of the way things should have been. It curls its spiny tendrils around the dry twigs of my regrets and snaps my feeble dreams in two.”

    I found that doing as you did – laying it all down at the foot of the cross – all the past, the regrets, – being cleansed and renewed, as Christ wipes the slate clean, that and only that has helped me on the way to Freedom in Christ, a brand new me with the past flung far from my mind.

    I wrote last Saturday on my blog A Better Way a little about regrets. There were some good comments too. http://jancoxabetterway.wordpress.com/2011/04/23/simply-saturday/
    Blessings,
    Jan

    April 29, 2011 at 8:04 am

    • Thank you, Jan. I don’t know why it is, but the longer I walk this road with the Lord, the more I realize I never really knew what I thought I knew all along.

      God bless you! I’m on my way to read your post. 🙂

      April 29, 2011 at 8:13 am

  5. Heather – you have adelicate way with words, soulful and honest . . . the faith journey is lonely at times, dark and confusing . . . but I, like you, have sunk my roots deeper in God’s soil because of life’s challenges . . . I’m not as easily bent by the winds as I used to be.
    Keep the lovely words flowing . . .

    April 30, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    • Thank you, Rose. So glad you dropped in.

      The winds can’t bend a soul that’s been made pliable–but it can shatter a hardened heart.

      April 30, 2011 at 9:02 pm

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