I LOVE to read and my favorite fiction books are historical Christian fiction. I love to get swept away in another time period and feel like I'm part of the town, taking part in their lives. That's what a great book does for me. I REALLY love reading series that have 3-4 books so I can "grow" along with the town in whichever era it's in.
Today I was reading "Speak Through the Wind" by Allison Pittman. It's book 2 out of the Crossroads of Grace series. The main character of the story lived a very broken life, one that forced her into a life of sin. She had made mistakes, those that she felt she could never heal from or be forgiven for. She made the choice to find her way back to God, but she just didn't see how it was possible because of how far she had walked away from Him. The exchange she had with her mentor brought me to tears. It was another one of those God "finding me" moments. This time it was simply in the pages of a fiction book.
"So you see, " she said shrugging, "I do not see how God and I could ever truly love each other." (after she had unburdened herself by telling her darkest secrets)
Reverend Joseph laughed. "Aren't we lucky, then, that God is capable of so much more than we are?" He leaned forward in his chair and, with one finger hooked beneath her chin, forced Kassandra to turn and look at him. "We can never be sure why God doesn't choose to rescue us from our mistakes. But we can be sure it's not for lack of love for us. There is always a reason for the trails we endure, even if those trials are the consequences of our own poor judgment."
"And do you really think He can forgive all I've done?"
"If He could not, the death of His Son would have been in vain. You are His child, Kassandra. You prayed to Him in this very room many years ago and made Him the Lord of your life. He has never left you, not in all this time."
Isn't that amazing? Isn't knowing that God loves us NO MATTER what we have done the most FREEING feeling? The most unbelievable part of that is that He loves us EVEN if we willfully sinned. No matter what MY darkest secrets are, my deepest sins...HE KNOWS them and has freed me from it. It's the same for anyone reading these words, ONCE you ask God to be your savior and turn you life over to Him, there is NOTHING that he won't forgive you for. EVEN if you purposely walked away from Him and have lived a life that makes you want to hide from Him, he already knows and once you ask for forgiveness, it is granted. He holds it against you NO more. It's forgotten as far as the east is from the west. No matter how long you've been running from Him, He has been waiting patiently for you to return. It's all up to you!
It also reminded me that sin does have consequences. God truly does forgive us, but sometimes He just doesn't automatically clean up our "mess". The exchange between Kassandra and Reverend Joseph about God not rescuing her really hit home. I can't count the number of times I've blamed God for MY mistakes because He didn't come in and stop me or didn't "fix" it after I did it. Just like Kassandra had to learn, I also do. God loves me EVEN if I don't know His reason for NOT cleaning up after me. Sometimes He does, but often times He leaves the wound created from sin open and slowly allows it to heal. Perhaps those wounds that become scars are BIGGER acts of love than the immediate "cleaning" up. It's in that healing process, or the sometimes VERY long process of picking up pieces from mistakes, that His real love is shown. I'm less likely to go down that path again and I'm more likely to fully grasp His forgiveness when the process has been slow. What matters most, is that He is there with us EACH and EVERY step. Even if we don't know which step to take next, as long as we head in His direction, everything eventually works out.