Rejection. Hurt. How did I become who I am? I went to a prayer meeting last night and felt sure that something had been broken. I came home and, when my husband wouldn’t listen to me, I yelled. He yelled back. I cried. Then I gave him the silent treatment. I felt rotten. But still so very angry inside.
In today’s world, we are taught to blame our actions on everyone but ourselves.
I could blame my temper on the kids who called me names every single day for years. The ones who threw rocks at me, who spat on me, and who told me that I could never be anyone of worth.
I could blame it on the sister who ran away when I was twelve, or on my parents who were understandably consumed with grief and pain. I could blame it on the teenagers who teased me when kidney disease treatments made me fat and funny-looking, or on the boyfriend who was unfaithful. I could blame it on my husband or on my kids because they’re not perfect either.
I could try to pin the blame on any number of things. In today’s society, that would fly. My fit of pique would be justified.
But sin is sin. You can try to hide its ugliness by deflecting responsibility, but that doesn’t change the facts. And the fact is I chose to respond in anger last night. I didn’t have to do it. But I did. It was a voluntary decision that I made in my heart.
So there you have it. The truth. The hard, cold, awful truth. Right here, in black and white.
On days like these, I come back to the question that the apostle Paul asked. I picture him writing it with tears streaming down his cheeks and desperation in his soul because that’s how I feel when I read it. “Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death?”
The anguish reflected in the question is deep. But the joy reflected in the answer is even deeper. “Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.”
The answer is Jesus. As I read those words, I can feel grace pouring over me like cool, clean water. The past is gone. Yesterday has been washed away. It’s over. Done.
All of the hurts, the times when the pain turned my stomach into knots and made it difficult to breathe, those are no more. All of my mistakes, careless words spoken in the heat of the moment, those are forgiven. Forgiven and forgotten. The work that Jesus did on the cross covers the past. It covers the present. And it covers the future.
What a sweet, sweet relief.
“It is finished.”