After I dropped the boys off at school today I didn’t even enter my house before I started my walk with God. I did something last night that caused someone, maybe more than one someone, pain and I was just beside myself about it. I jumped into a fight that wasn’t mine. I ran my mouth when I should have kept it closed. I was sad, sorrowful, regretful, mad at myself, and a whole host of other negative emotions that I do not even know the name of.
As I walked, I took those emotions into my hands and looked at them. They looked like broken glass in many different colors. I touched the edges of the sadness and shame and felt that they could pierce right through my hands. I began to cry. I cried out to God, “Why did I do what I did? Why did I hurt someone elses feelings? Why did I take on something that wasn’t even mine to deal with?”
As I said those things and cried over the shards of glass in my hands, God did the most amazing thing. He took the salt water of my tears and began to smooth the edges of the guilt, the sadness, the regret, the shame. He said, “This is what I like to call ‘repentance’ and this is what I do with true repentance.” He took the regret and made it hope. He took the shame and made it joy. He took the despair and made it humility. I felt the edges of the glass again and they were smooth to my touch. No longer were these negative emotions about this situation going to hurt me or anyone else. Those shards of glass were transformed.
This part of the conversation occurred early in the walk today and I wondered why He had given me peace so early when obviously, the heaviness of my heart was a tremendous teaching opportunity. He said “Keep walking.” So I did….
In the time that followed He began to give me people who needed praying for…
Scott, my husband… Scott is dealing with numbness in his right shin and a large part of his foot due to a back injury last spring. The numbness is terribly frustrating. God said, “You can pray for him, Angela, but this is between me and Scott. I could heal him if I wanted to, but this is about more than physical healing. This is not your trial. I will heal him in my time and it will show my glory.”
Becky, my neighbor…. Becky has stage 4 breast cancer and is fighting for her life. She has a husband and two children at home. She has friends that love her. God said, “You can pray for her, Angela, but Becky is fine. What I do with Becky will be for my glory. This is not your trial.” But what about her children, Lord? “That is not your trial, Angela.” What about her close friends? “You can pray and I want you to pray, but it is not YOUR trial.”
Tom, an acquaintance who lost his wife almost two years ago. He has two very young adopted children. “You can pray and I want you to pray, but Tom and the kids are fine. Keri’s work here was done and now Tom will teach those children amazing things about Grace and Love. That is not your trial.”
He said, “Angela, if I can take the shards of glass from your little worldly problem and make them as smooth as sea glass, don’t you think I can do that for others in their times of need? Can’t I take Scott’s frustration with his foot and make it hope? Can I not take Becky’s illness and show my Grace and Mercy? Can I not take the death of a spouse and show my sufficiency? Those are not your trials, child. Do not try to take the shards of glass out of my hands and cast them away. It is with the salty tears of those who are in those trials that I make beautiful smooth edges from them.”
Then I really cried… Tears of true repentance. For the hurt that I had caused with careless words, for the doubt I had in God’s sufficiency to take care of the problems of the people in my life, for the grace that he shows me every day…. the forgiveness that I don’t really deserve. Because of the sea glass that I was given today I can be reminded to try harder. To sit on my fingers and wait for God’s guidance. And it is proof of his forgiveness when I fall short.
Knowing that He forgives had lightened my heart. Now, I just hope that those that I hurt will also forgive me and start over fresh as well.