Death to Life 

I used to think about death when I had to courage to. It can’t be that bad I’d tell myself, EVERY person will die, and billions have already died. I wished mine wouldn’t be too painful or gory, slipping away while asleep sounded best. I tried to comfort myself that we probably just switch off for good, with no memory. The truth that I would never have admitted is that it terrified me. I side stepped the fear by trying to live for the moment, after all we never know when we’ll get hit by a bus, as the saying goes.

It’s been over a decade since I crashed to my knees on my bedroom floor and I gave my life to Jesus and instantly he took my baggage; weight I had no idea I carried lifted of my shoulders. Love saturated my heart. Peace. My desires started to change, behaviours that had once felt so natural to me repulsed me. Then three years ago I had the most incredible encounter with the Holy Spirit, my eyes were opened, my ears were opened and my heart was set on fire. I saw who I was, who I had been, and how Jesus sees me. The magnitude of what Jesus did for me, for ALL, at the cross hit me like a meteorite. I once lived wide eyed in utter darkness, stumbling around on the road to death but now the God of the turn around, the God of the impossible, the God who never leaves us or gives up on us, whose love for us displayed so clearly on the cross brought me from death to life. 
“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25-26

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I forgive you, I love you

I was thinking about someone I had forgiven a long time ago. This forgiveness covered a huge hurt. As I was thinking about them, I saw that in forgiving them I was able to see beyond the pain caused. I was able to see the person. Just the person and I felt such love for them. I started to feel pretty happy with myself that I had been able to forgive such deep pain and then suddenly the tables turned – what about me? And who were the people who I needed forgiveness from? Pride immediately welled up in me as I told myself I didn’t need anyone to forgive me because I hadn’t done anything *that* bad! And then I thought back over my life and the floodgates opened; I had said, thought and done things that caused hurt, tears and sleepless nights. My choices with words and actions had caused countless people pain. I was sat thinking about one person I had forgiven but I hadn’t given any thought to the numerous people that I had hurt. I hadn’t given any thought to it because my pride blinded me to it. As I ‘sat down’ to take all this in, I found I ‘was seated’ right next to the person I had forgiven. We were in the same boat – two imperfect people who had caused hurt.

To give the words “I forgive you, I love you” is wonderful but to receive the words “I forgive you, I love you” is even more so.

Every single day I am absolutely floored by what Jesus did for me, for us all, at the cross. Floored that he took a sin filled, rotten to the core woman like me, took the punishment that was mine and defeated death to give us LIFE with him forever. A totally undeserved free gift. We have such a good God.

“Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”
John 7:37-38