Sometimes things hurt.
A little more so when it’s from people we love and people we know love Jesus.
I think it’s because there’s this expectation that we are reading our Bibles and allowing it to shape us.
That we are aiming to live like Jesus did- selfless, humble, and brave in how we love through our words and actions.
That we are open to the Spirit taking us beyond our comfort zone and responding with true repentance when we have wounded.
Don’t get me wrong— we’re gonna hurt each other. I do it too.
But it’s not the initial wound that kills, it’s the wound left untreated.
It’s the wrong never made right.
The sin never confessed.
The reconciliation never worked toward.
The gospel is both horizontal and vertical. We were reconciled with God, through Jesus, so we could be reconciled to one another, through the power of the Holy Spirit.
But here’s the thing…
When you’re hurt, you have a choice. To let God restore you or let the enemy work to destroy you.
To let God reestablish you or let the enemy work to bury you.
I have felt the sting of a festering wound left untreated, and I almost allowed myself to succumb to the pain. But God who is rich in mercy, reminded me that by His stripes we are healed, and by His suffering I do not have to remain in despair.
I tucked myself into the loving arms of Jesus and began allowing Him to restore me privately. Like Jesus met Peter on the beach in John 24, simply sitting with him, making breakfast and keeping warm over a charcoal fire, speaking life over Peter after he had endured some of his darkest days and deepest wounds.
I imagine with each moment that passed that early morning on the beach, the sun rose higher and Peter’s spirit grew stronger. Jesus was preparing Him for the next leg of the journey, the heavy and high call of working to form the early church.
I’ve been sitting on my own beach with Jesus for the last several months, allowing his love to be salve to my wounds. In this time, he has revived my passions, reformed my dreams, and rebuilt my confidence. He threw open doors I didn’t even know existed and is launching me into a new season of service to Him.
As I embark on this new journey as a student at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary, I will be participating in the Urban Cohort program. This program is designed for those called to serve and work among the marginalized and under-resourced in our world. Pastors, non-profit leaders, community organizers, and more participate in this program with a shared vision of impacting the urban community for Christ. I don’t know where this road will lead, but I do know for the first time in my life, I feel like I am part of story that I am not the one writing. And I couldn’t be more grateful….