(I really wanted to title this post, “The Fysical Feeling of Forgiveness,” but I know a bunch of Grammar Nazis, so… )
As an author I do my best to convey emotions in my characters and stories. Inducing tears into people’s eyes and developing happy feelings are some of the things in which I specialize. I can go so far as to try to provide a sense of well-being in you as a reader. These are things that I can do. However…
After the stories are done, whether they are mine or someone else’s, whether they are from a book or from movies or TV shows, one thing is certain; reality sets back in. You are always going to be faced with who you are. Who you have been. What has been done to you.
Reality isn’t always the place in which people want to live. Reality can be physically and emotionally painful, even devastating. People are grateful for those breaks—those diversions—in which they can experience fun, happy moments. But so often, these things are fleeting at best. Often, in the midst of happy moments, people have flashes of impending reality, and instantly the moment of elation is dulled or quenched. Back to who they are, where they live, what they do.
This is not the case with everybody, though. Some people have had burdens permanently lifted. Some have a pool—a wellspring—from which life and joy, hope and grace, mercy and purpose envelop their souls. This is not to say that life doesn’t still happen to them, it just means that the table has turned. Instead of guilt and fear and hopelessness and lack of purpose being the mainstay of their lives, they are merely the periodic interruptions. Instead, they can live with a constant sense of peace and joy in their lives, even in the midst of difficult times.
It sounds as though these people have encountered a miracle. Doesn’t it? And the truth of the matter is … they have.
Life wasn’t meant to be hated or avoided. Life was created to have lifelong purpose. It’s something that all people can have. It just takes a decision.
If your religion or atheism or life philosophy has not met you where you are and invited you into a life of forgiveness and peace, rather than you having to spend your life striving for it, then you have been believing or practicing something false. And that falseness can be revealed, as long as a person doesn’t decide to protect that falseness, by making it have an encounter with truth.
Some of you, right now, are wishing that what I’m saying could be true, that you could finally have peace of mind and heart—a life in which the striving to be something worthy can come to an end. If you are one of these individuals, I challenge you to do one or more of the following things to have that encounter with truth.
1. Break out a modern-English translation of the Bible. Go to the New Testament book of John, and begin to read. Just push through to the end of the Bible. Just allow the words of the book to speak to your life. There’s nothing harmful about the knowledge that you’ll receive.
2. Pray a simple prayer: “God? Jesus? If you are real, and you really want me to know you, please show me. I’m open to it.” An honest prayer will be the catalyst to some life-changing events.
3. Set aside all things religious. God isn’t looking for you to do anything to earn his approval. You don’t have to go try to become good enough for him. Instead, He came searching for you. He came and did all of the work required to bring YOU into relationship with HIM, not the other way around. You don’t have to go get cleaned up to approach Him. Approach Him, and allow Him to make you clean.
4. Allow yourself to be humble. Don’t let your pride stand in the way of asking God for His forgiveness and His help. He’s bigger than all of the “shtuff” in your life, and He knows how to bring things to pass in your life in the proper order to get rid of the wrong things … in his time and in a way that will be most beneficial to you, the one He loves.
Many people, like myself, remember what it felt like—the physical feeling that took place within their bodies—the moment that they asked Jesus Christ to be their Savior and Lord. It wasn’t just a mental release, it was the shedding of so much burden that our hearts felt like they could burst with joy! The only thing you have as a responsibility is to allow God to come inside your life to forgive all of your past and future sins, in one fell swoop. He’ll do it, and give you an awesome future home, to boot.
Consider what I’ve said. There’s a whole big family waiting for you to let them love you and join them in this adventure of knowing and following the Creator of the Universe. While life still happens, we have each other and we have the knowledge that God is both in us and at our sides, helping us to “do all things.”
Love You All,