18 Feb “Common Scripture, Common Struggle” by Ann Webb
When I first came to Christ in my early 40s, there were some very common scriptures that shook me to my core. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” I simply could not imagine how HE could work my past, my pain, my dysfunction for good. No matter how many times I heard the words “all things” I found myself certain there was a way out that excluded me, my life.
I remembered many of the things done to me and even more of the things I had done, so many choices with little good in them. How could anything good come from my life? Little by little over time, HE healed some things. Cleared up some misconceptions. HE put people in my life that helped me to see that I made choices in my life based on a very limited toolbox. I let go of the thought that I had to do better, to be better. Romans 7:18- “For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.” I added new tools, like deep understanding of sin and temptation. Replaced some of my survival tools with life nurturing ones. I stopped medicating. Let walls down. I let people see me, know me, love me.
There were rare times when I experienced judgement and condemnation for sin struggles that continued to haunt my life. I know I am too weak to stand under the weight of this type of judgement; in times like these I lean into HIS strength. 2 Corinthians 12:9- “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” I stopped worrying about how I would be judged for my past, my pain, my sin. I reminded myself more than daily that my life is HIStory. It is not about how I fall and struggle; It is about how HE restores and redeems.
Some days I find myself smiling as HE uses my life for HIS good. HE will bring me the opportunity to connect with someone that is buried under the weight of the memory of sins forgiven but not let go. HE will let me speak to someone feeling powerless to shake a sin burden and give me the opportunity to validate that while we are powerless, our God is not. HE will let me share from my scars and pray over someone’s wounds. HE will gently remind me that my life, my mess is HIS message and it is meant to be shared. HE presents me with opportunities to see what only HE can do.