Forgiveness is hard, but with practice it can be done. I can forgive my neighbor for being loud at 2am. I can forgive people who have bullied my children. I can even forgive masked men who storm a shopping center and kill innocent people in the name of their radicalized beliefs.
But Jesus didn’t die just so that God could forgive us. Forgiveness is a choice made by the forgiver. God is big enough He could have handled forgiveness without the resurrection. Colossians 1:14 tells us that Jesus provided forgiveness and redemption. He went way beyond not holding our mistakes against us. He made a way for us to be whole again. We can be beautiful and reflect his light in spite of the weakness of our hearts.
Wait, come again?
Forgiveness I can do, but redemption? That seems out of reach. Can you imagine taking the smelly decayed remnants in the bottom of your garbage can and making something beautiful from those scraps? There are days where I feel more like a moldy banana peel than a beautiful child of an all powerful Creator.
But we see God redeem us by healing our addictions. He turns alcoholics into prophets. He gives the fearful and ashamed a heart of courage and a platform to share their story. God reshapes social climbers, workaholics, and stuff worshippers to the community focused creatures we were meant to be.
There are days when Godly redemption feels like a myth. I look around and think that if my neighbor was really redeemed by God then their life would look more like mine. Or at least what I think my life should look like.
But here’s the thing, being redeemed by God does not create a homogenized global church where everything looks the same. People have very different experiences and we can find God in the center of each one of those experiences.
What would happened if you walked up to the paint counter at your local big box store and asked for a gallon of blue paint. Can you imagine the puzzled look on the workers face and he redirected you to the tens of thousand of paint chips on the wall? There are thousands of shades of blue!!!
Perhaps you want a soothing baby blue for a nursery, or a tropical turquoise for your patio furniture that reminds you of the ocean. Perhaps peacock blue for a studio because it inspires you? He might suggest a deep Prussian blue that is so dark that it looks more black than blue at first glance. Maybe teal, midnight blue, azure? You get the idea. Blue is a color, but it is also a grouping of many different colors within that same color family.
When God looks at each of us he knows exactly what shade of redemption is right for us. Some are given a huge platform so that we can inspire others with our redemption story. Others are quietly redeemed and minster to the world in anonymous ways. God has a purpose for each of us. His healing and grace are created to meet us where we need him the most. He redeems us in spite of our brokenness and returns us to his family. His love covers us like the perfect shade of blue, so that we may reflect his light into the corners of the world where it is most needed.
Copyright 2014 AngelaJHerrington