"I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you."
Isaiah 44:22, New International Version
"Touch" - To cause or permit a body part, especially the hands or fingers, to come in contact with, and then to feel or have an emotional effect on someone.
Am I carrying a load of guilt?
"Guilt" - The fact of being responsible for an offense or wrongdoing.
"Nobody has to sit about being humiliated in the outer office while God dispatches important business, before condescending to issue a stamped official discharge accompanied by an improving lecture. Like the Father of the Prodigal Son, God can see repentance coming a great way off and is there to meet it, and the repentance is the reconciliation."
Dorothy L. Sayers
"Return to the Lord, your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love."
When I was in high school, I took two years of chemistry. The second year had a practical laboratory section where our instructor guided us as we mixed elements together watching with great interest to see the reactions.
On one particular day, which I will never forget, my lab partner and I got rather carried away, as teenagers are known to do, and we said to each other, "I wonder what would happen if we mixed all these powders in the test tubes together?"
With reckless abandon we began dumping colored powders into our flask and then we put in an equal amount of water. BOOM! A boiling mess erupted from the glass container and poured onto the table while spouts of this chemical mess shot into the air landing on the floor and on our hands and clothes. Within seconds I noticed holes appearing in my dress where this liquid disaster was eating away the fabric in the protective apron I had on, as well as in my clothing.
Our instructor rushed over completely unimpressed with out attempt to "invent" something new. He shoved our hands and arms under the water, giving us special soap to get the corrosive mixture off.
Needless to say, that was the last time we tried an experiment without following the directions. I may have been daring, but I wasn't totally stupid. I didn't want my hands to be burned again. And explaining the holes in the fabric of the dress that my mother had made was a story in itself. No, I found out that acid erodes!
But acid isn't the only thing that corrodes everything in its path. Guilt is just as destructive as acid on our life-forces. And for so many, guilt goes to work on the most tender areas of our lives, nibbling away at the edges of our self-worth, leaving us in a pit of despair, resigned to the fact that we are just "too bad" for God to ever love. Wearing the bondage of hopelessness, we let the heavy chains of our flawed behavior from the past weigh us down so heavily we don't have the strength to get up and drag ourselves to the feet of the one Man who can save us.
If what I have depicted sounds like you - or if you have ever felt this way in your life - then today is the day to rid yourself of the shackles of guilt - that toxic mixture which can destroy not only your joy but your life.
I love these words written by an unknown Russian monk many years ag "We must not despair, for there is no sin that exceeds God's compassion. It is always the devil that brings despair. One must not listen."
Think for a minute if you had been the hemorrhaging woman. What if a load of guilt filled her because she felt that something she had done was the cause of her illness. She could easily have said, "I got myself into this mess, I can't ask Jesus to help me out." But she didn't do this.
She came to Jesus anyway. She came because of hope. She came because of forgiveness. She came because she wanted to be healed. Jesus didn't disappoint her. And He won't disappoint you either. Throw the guilt overboard. You don't have to carry the load anymore. Jesus' forgiveness has made certain of it!
"Repentance has nothing to do with self-torment. We must be truly sorry for our sins, and turn from them and look to God. If we look only at ourselves we are sure to despair. Once we have cried our tears of remorse, we must stand back and allow the muddy waters of our hearts to clear - otherwise we will never see the bottom of anything."
Johann Christoph Arnold
"O Love unspeakable and full of glory, whose majesty is not to destroy, but to save, save us from ourselves. Our past relentlessly pursues us. Days that we thought dead live over again; deeds that we deemed buried meet us on the way; be thou our defense, O our God.
Fill up that which our lives have left behind. Undo that which we have done amiss. Repair the places we have wasted, bind the hearts we have wounded. Dry the eyes which we have flooded. Make the evil we have done work for good, so that we ourselves would know it.
Take up our yesterdays into thine own golden light and transfigure them there, that we may learn with joyful surprise how ever against our wills we were laboring together with thee; so shall our former selves find us now more. Amen."
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
P.S. My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, is now available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com, Christianbook.com, or by calling toll-free, 1-800-Christian. You can also go to www.whenawomanmeetsjesus.com and purchase the book through Paypal for $8.00. Or by calling Transformation Garden at 1-888-397-4348.
For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.