Welcome to Wilco Wednesday! If you are a new around these parts, “Wilco” is Army-speak for “Will Comply.” Think of it as saying “Roger, God. Got it. Will do.” So that is what Wednesday here at 7 Days Time is all about– exploring his decrees and seeking guidance for what complying with Him looks like in everyday life. The best part? He loves us for who we are, not what we do. Remember: He doesn’t want perfection, just obedience. Share. Enjoy. Interact. Please help me welcome a passionate follower of Jesus, dear Sammie, as she shares a beautiful poem she wrote in 1980.
The phone rang and after sprinting through the house to catch the call before the message machine engaged in its soliloquy, I was greeted by a friends warm voice whom I hadn’t seen in many months. After a few moments of lively conversation, arrangements were made for her to come visit the next day so we could have time to indulge in an afternoon of fellowship and catching up on events.
The next day when she arrived, the teapot was nestled in its “cozy,” the cookies were on the tray and the English tea cups decorated the Garden Room table like miniature flower bouquets. Does life get any better than this?? Our conversation that afternoon manifested the ever present “essence of the Unseen Guest” as the shuttle of our thoughts and comments wove evidence of how the Lord was moving in the warp and woof of our personal lives.
Then, quietly my guest said, “I don’t know what to do with the guilt I feel for the things I’ve done wrong in my life. I feel so useless to the Lord!” I asked if she had taken those sins before the Lord in prayer and confession – to which she answered… “Oh yes, I keep confessing and confessing them but the guilt feeling doesn’t go away!” My heart ached seeing her emotionally caught in the web of the “Deceiver.” She was temporarily unable to “lay hold of the freedom of the forgiveness through our Messiah” (Prov.4:4)
Today, I was repairing the hem in the sleeve of this jump suit when, as cutting the thread, I accidentally snipped part of the fabric itself. I mended it and the garment is whole once again, still of value and capable of continued use; yet, you can see the “scar” where the mending was done. Although I feel sad the episode happened, whenever I look at the repair, I don’t need to keep bringing it back to the sewing machine and ‘re-mending’ that spot.
When we confess our sins, God Forgives AND Forgets them (AKA, separates them from us – (Ps 103:12). Through confession, we are washed in the righteousness of Jesus work on the Cross (Rom.10:4) However, like the garment, our lives often carry the scars of our wrongful deeds. Our freedom in Christ is knowing HE has mended/healed those damaged parts (1 Peter 2:24) and made us whole again! Often we confuse what God does – Forgive and Forget, removing the sin completely, (Heb. 10:17) with the reality that here on earth, we live with the consequences of our sins. In that confusion we tend to take our eyes off Jesus and instead dwell on the scar (sin) and what caused it!
Looking at the mended part of the sleeve of my garment, I think how unfortunate the event took place – but it is mended and therefore taken care of! When we feel sad about a past sin, the Accuser (Satan) likes to whisper in our ear… “Ah Ha, see that scar – you’re guilty…you’re guilty. Look what you did!” And at that point, we assume feeling bad means not being forgiven. So, based on feelings, we drag our emotions back to the Cross to be forgiven (mended) at the same spot over and over. (Like taking the garment back to the sewing machine for the same repair.) And, in the process, we hinder moving on in our walk in the Lord. Satan likes to muddle our thinking – especially in the Forgiveness process – and delights in getting us focused on feelings rather than Scriptural Fact!
You see, our part of the Forgive could be likened to the pain experienced in child bearing. We lived through the pain; can’t deny it happened. In fact, we can look back and recall the experience of that pain; but, as it is in the past and done with, we release it and move on with our lives. To forgive in the form of release is to be set free from that event’s bondage!
God graciously calls us to live in the freedom of His forgiveness of confessed sin and walk in the newness of Christ (1John 1;7) – not heed the lies of the Accuser trying to keep us from realizing our victory in Christ!
My friend and I prayed together that afternoon and I encouraged her to experience the freedom of seeing those scars as reminders of the Joy of our Salvation (Ps 51:12). Knowing that like a mended garment, we can see the mended areas of our lives and rejoice in the healing ministry of our Lord. HE who mends hearts and minds, making us whole in Him, Redeemed, Renewed, and still of value in His sight. (Luke 1:68).
Does life get any better than this? That we could dwell in the presence of our Lord in praises and encourage one another/to taste and see the Lord is good!(Ps 34.8), She left that day pondering her new perspective of freedom in Christ! And, as I waved goodbye, I purposed in my heart to pray both of us would continue to grow in His Grace.
“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and forever! Amen.” ~2 Peter 3:18
Think back on your darkest hours… How do the words above encourage you? Leave a comment and join the conversation.
Suzanne (Sammie) Gray has been a Bible Study leader with PWOC, International Women’s Club, and Campus Crusade for Christ ministries for over 42 years. Her passion is teaching women how to walk in victory in their knowledge of our Jesus Christ. Her hearts calling and personal ministry Scripture is Is. 61; 1-3 helping women to discover Christ’s Divine Design and calling on their lives.
She has two children, three grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. She spent 15 years in the Corporate world, has owned/operated three businesses, and traveled the world extensively. Her hobbies are gardening, music, and studying Paleo-Biblical Hebrew interpretation of Scripture.