Have you ever looked back on your life (past, present, or future) and wondered, “Why?”...Why did this happen? Why did that happen? Why not me? Why me? Why then? Why now?
I know that I have, and at times these types of questions have absolutely crippled me from having hope for what could be possible in my life.
You may now be wondering, “What do you mean?”
What I mean is this: I spent so much time beating myself up for all that I thought was wrong about me, or about my past, that I never saw it was possible to be anything but that of person.
If I did something wrong, then I was wrong. If I acted meanly, then I was mean. If I made a mistake, then I was a mistake. If all this was true, then how could I have hope? How could I deserve good things? How could I be free from the pain and suffering? How could I be free if I somehow believed I deserved punishment as payment for the "bad" I think I've done?
I suspect that I’m not alone in this way of thinking.
No matter how big or how small the mistake may be, we have this way of holding it against ourselves, as though God’s forgiveness somehow isn’t enough for us. We question all that’s happened to us. We question all that we’ve done or who we think we are. We focus on every bit of hurt, pain, shame and guilt, but where does that leave us?
Hopeless maybe? Possibly depressed? Maybe ignoring God’s promises? Deciding what we think we deserve? Suffering negative consequences, void of any truth?
Talk about a terrible, self-inflicted trap, when the truth is...
There is actually freedom and a chance at redemptive transformation for all of us!
The simple truth is that God’s promises are true, and what He says about us has far more power then what we think about ourselves or the lies we may believe.
BUT, the only way anyone can have redemptive transformation is through trusting Jesus and letting Him have His way in our lives.
Do you think the disciples had it all together when they first met Jesus? Do you think they knew who they were right from the start? Were they instantly the men Jesus said they were? NO! But they dared to go on this journey of following Jesus and letting what He said reign over even what their culture told them.
It took them time following in His footsteps for their lives to begin to change. It took laying down what they thought of themselves and trusting what Jesus was saying for them to no longer be fishermen but instead fishers of men!
Where are we on this journey of trust? How are we doing at listening to Jesus and to His truth about us? How are we doing at letting ourselves go on this journey of redemptive transformation?
Fact is, Jesus knows!
He knows every part of us that we try to hide, and yet He still calls out to us. He knows how to transform all the pain and hurt and shame and guilt. He knows how to make our moments of deep questioning or deep hurt into deep roots that transform others as they see Him move in our lives.
The question is, are we willing to trust? Are we willing to give Him just a little bit more of us moment by moment and day by day?
The disciples were completely transformed into men who could be followed, who could be trusted. Men who preached truth and travelled far and wide all for the sake of Jesus. They had redemptive transformation happen in their lives.
Are we willing for the same thing to happen to us?
To let Him transform us, or not. To let Him redeem our situations, or not. To let Him have His way in our stories, or not.
The choice is truly ours.
What will you choose today?