On Monday night, I returned home from the retreat I have attended every year since 2003 (with the exception of 2020 when COVID stopped us). Although we were missing three of our sisters in Christ for various reasons, this was an amazing time of fellowship, creativity, prayer, and Bible study. I came home so filled up with the joy of the Lord.
Before I left northern Idaho, I heard about something distressing happening to someone I know. On Tuesday, more information came that simply broke my heart. The Twitterverse was in full-on shark mode, devouring and destroying as best it could.
What and why and to whom this is happening isn’t important to this post. But many of the comments and tweets have revealed afresh to me how many people just don’t understand God’s redemptive power (if they believe in God at all which it is obvious many do not). Hatred toward religion in general and Christianity in particular is on full display. And to those who are in attack mode, the offering of redemption, if it is offered at all, should only go to whom those people deem worthy, not to everyone. They definitely do not believe that God can forgive anything if a person turns to Him in repentance. Certainly they do not forgive whatever they choose not to forgive, even if they see repentance (in a story or in real life). How sad for them.
I believe in a God of second chances (and third and fourth and fifth and on and on). Not that we should go on intentionally doing wrong things (sinning). But I serve a God who loves me and pursues me and instructs me. I serve a God who takes people who are broken and restores them, who turns lives around and sends the redeemed walking in a new way. I know this because I have been broken, and He restored me.
Yes, it can seem at times as if the devil is having his way on this earth, as if hate carries the day. BUT GOD… Those have to be some of the best words in the Bible. BUT GOD… People can choose to turn away from Him, but He reigns and rules despite that. They can be deceived or deceive themselves, but He goes on offering redemption to those who will hear His voice.
No one is outside the redemptive power of Jesus the Messiah. Not even those who are being unkind to my friend. So I will pray for their eyes to be opened and for their ears to hear. There is something better for them, if only they knew.