I really tried not to write about my faith tonight. I feel overbearing today. But nothing else comes so I will scream it out with my title and let those who read it read, and those who roll eyes will roll.
Yeah, yeah, so you think you will go to heaven when you die.
No. That's not what I'm thankful for today. Although I believe heaven will be more than I can imagine, that's not the best part of my faith. Not now, at least.
I have been saved from a life of death. No one could see exactly what was inside of me. It isn't anything dramatic except for it is the most dramatic thing I know. There is no way have the ability to put in words, and honestly, I don't even know when or how it happened.
Although I cannot imagine what sins were committed during the slave trade, John Newton's words in the famous song, Amazing Grace, grab me because I felt just as horrible. I want to reach out and hold them so tight because I saw how ugly I was, and humanly speaking there was no way out. If I tried harder, I physically would exhaust myself. If I changed who I was, I could never maintain that image. If anyone complimented me, I knew they either were lying or blind. I wanted to hide away. The saddest part of this is that I already had invited Jesus to save me, but I was only partly changed, and life still seemed like death.
I would plead with him to rescue me from myself. And slowly but very surely, He did. I told him the terrible thoughts I've had, the terrible things I've done.
And He said, "You have done terrible things and thought terrible things. But I threw them to the bottom of the sea. I have made you new."
I told Him of the bad things that happened to me.
He reponded, "Those are bad things, but I have overcome the world".
He looked at me with joy. He grabbed me by the arm and told me of His plans for me. He demolished the lies I believed, and He showed me the beauty in my life.
And now I just can't get Him out of my mind. I know I am on his as well. I feel a cloud of glory surrounding me instead of a cloud of shame.+
I am thankful that God is real, and He loves me.
Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteem His stricken, smitten by God and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we ARE healed.
And life goes on as I see heartbreak surrounding me. Today it was a work friend's news of cancer. I looked into his strong wife's teary eyes hoping my prayer offerings would give comfort. I know that people are hurting, I know bad things still happen. But I also know that there is hope in all situations, and hope is life. Victory is nigh. Salvation is here.