I initially became acquainted with the overwhelming presence of G-d in a heap, on the floor, under a blanket. I had all BUT completely train-wreaked my life by the time I was a young adult. From a broken home, having developed a twisted perspective of life, I barely escaped landing in prison. I remember at times knowing that I was being watched by authorities, and other times spending the night being interrogated by the police. I kept bad company… I was bad company.
So when I EXPERIENCED being known, loved, and forgiven by G-d it was a game-changer. It wrecked every fiber of my being. A friend I once sold drugs to saw me in public about 10 years after my life-changing event and said I looked like a different person.
Although I expect that I deserve some “credit” in this journey, if everything were known and you had experienced what I had you would have made the same decision. I painted myself in the corner and a majestic Being approached with healing in His hands. My life has never been the same since.
This trajectory that I had been gifted with had very little to do with my ability or my choice, which sounds a little self-deprecating. I came across some Kingdom-minded people and authors who helped me understand something vital to my life. I learned that there was such a thing as the renewing of the mind (See Romans 12:2).
THIS was a game-changer for me. As a person who likes to achieve AND a person who is painfully self-aware, THIS renewal, THIS renovation that G-d wanted to do was vital to my spiritual, emotional, and mental health. The concept fit so very nicely in my heart regarding my future. Of all people, I needed renovation. I was full of residual and habitual evil. Memories, habits, inclinations… the very fiber of my being was ugly. And this Prince of Peace wanted to make me like Himself. He wanted to change me. To make me to be the best version of me that could ever be. I was and have been ALL IN ever since.
This morning I started reading the book of Matthew again. I got stuck in the first chapter, verse 6. “David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah.” (If this phase doesn’t cause you to have some wow feelings take a look at 2 Samuel 11-12.)
If you’re anything like me you may see your life, your history, your parents (consider the case of Solomon) a train-wreck. It’s been an unfair journey where the odds have been stacked against you. Your dad was abusive and deranged your view of the world, I know. Your mom was on crack all your life and you didn’t know it. You never knew your dad. Your dad acted like you were more of an inconvenience than a blessing. Your mom’s critical posture towards you is still going, even though she is gone.
BUT, G-d is a redeemer of things. He is the ULTIMATE thrift shopper, and YOU are HIS prized possession. (Stop and read that again, please?)
This life, no matter how wildly hard and painful, is not unknown and unnoticed by G-d. He desires to comfort and be an escort to changing us and our perspective of it all.
I was reminded this morning of some first-century philosophy. There is a concept called the paradox of Theseus’ ship by Plutarch. He questioned that if a ship had a broken mast and the mast was replaced, then part of the hull was damaged and replaced, at which point would it cease to be the original ship? What if every part of the ship had been replaced over a 60-year time span? Would the ship still be Theseus’?
Consider this: “I have been crucified with Christ and it is no longer I that live, but Christ that lives in me. The life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the son of G-d, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)
We are in process, my dear friends.
You are being renovated.
Whatever failures you experienced before you knew G-d have been and are being renewed (…and LISTEN hard to this part…) ALSO and EQUALLY, whatever shortcomings you’ve had AS A BELIEVER are being renewed and redeemed. This process is ongoing by ALMIGHTY GOD, who is exceedingly higher, abundantly more loving, and kinder than we could ever imagine. He is renewing us, making us into HIS likeness. Renewing, renovating, bringing justice and purpose to every landscape–If we’re willing to allow it and in minor and major ways, choose to participate in it.