Tag Archives: Redemption

Gratitude: Psalms 131

Since Thanksgiving is at the end of this month, I’m sure there will be a lot of gratitude challenges on various social media platforms. I thought I would do my own challenge to share my favorite gratitude Psalms every Friday this month.

Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord;
    Lord, hear my voice.
Let your ears be attentive
    to my cry for mercy.

If you, Lord, kept a record of sins,
    Lord, who could stand?
But with you there is forgiveness,
    so that we can, with reverence, serve you.

I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits,
    and in his word I put my hope.
I wait for the Lord
    more than watchmen wait for the morning,
    more than watchmen wait for the morning.

Israel, put your hope in the Lord,
    for with the Lord is unfailing love
    and with him is full redemption.
He himself will redeem Israel
    from all their sins.

Psalm 130

I am grateful to have a God who redeems. I am grateful that I am not defined by my mistakes, even when I hold on to them longer than I should.

I’m a perfectionist in the worst sense of the word. I procrastinate on my projects, on everything really. I get very frustrated when it’s not perfect. I am my harshest critic. And this year has been filled with anxiety and depression and loneliness. My world got a lot smaller and my flaws got a lot bigger.

But this is where the beauty of redemption seeps in. Through the blood of Christ, his sacrifice, God doesn’t see that I am flawed. He sees that I am forgiven. And that freedom allows me to let go and love my neighbors. I’m not caught up in what I have or haven’t done, but what I can and will do.

Redemption isn’t just a second chance. It is a fully infusion of power and love that strengthens me to become what I was created to become. To do what I was created to do. To go where I was created to go. I am allowed to completely become the divine creature God created me to be.

Of course, that doesn’t mean the world, temptation, sin and brokenness are not still prevalent on my path going forward. If anything, they are almost guaranteed. And yet, God promises to walk the path with me, to never leave or forsake me, to press on toward the goal, to win the prize.

I am thankful for a God who walks with me, redeems the pain and hurt I have experienced and caused, whispering in my ear his love for his creation in me. And one day, redemption will be completed at the sound of trumpets and oh what a day that will be.

Psalm 27:13-14


I remain confident of this:
    I will see the goodness of the Lord
    in the land of the living.
1Wait for the Lord;
    be strong and take heart
    and wait for the Lord.

Psalm 27:13-14 (NIV)

I am reading through the Bible this year, and Psalm 27 was part of one of my morning devotionals. This could have been my mantra for the last five years.

When I was growing up, being a Christian somehow became a destination-focused lifestyle. We were supposed to have faith, be baptized, believe in Jesus, so that we could go to heaven someday. It wasn’t until years after my own baptism that I was challenged with the thought that the Kingdom that Jesus was talking about was actually here among us. That redemption and salvation were active in the here and now.

It was something that became clear in the last five years. Going through pregnancy loss with no answers is a walk in the darkness. There were days I struggled to wrap my head around God’s goodness in the details. I was much more comfortable with the big picture, that everything would be redeemed (that I would see my daughters again) in heaven.

But there were things being redeemed here. Hearts being reached, touched, and healed through love and conversations. Faith being strengthened to withstand the Devil’s schemes. Love being poured out when it felt like there was nothing left to give. I was more overwhelmed by the love I received than by any of the grief I endured. And at this point in the journey, I come across this encouraging verse. Something I can hold on to and remember what God has already done so I can have faith in what he will do again and again in this world.

God’s goodness is coming. Be strong and take heart.

Mercy

Sorry for the hiatus.  It’s been another crazy couple of weeks.  I continue to have a love-hate relationship with my technology.  My office manager is about to leave on maternity.  There are some transitions coming with our church family (new additions to the staff.  Very exciting!).  So, it’s just been an overall crazy couple of weeks.  Oh, and tomorrow is the last day of my summer Spanish class.

I know that I’ve mentioned taking this class on the blog at the beginning of the summer.  It has been pretty amazing and so much more than a simple language course.  The professor is agnostic, yet he loves to talk about religion, faith, culture, and how these are affected by current events.  Of course, if anyone gets too “religious-y,” he tends to shut the conversation down and go back to Spanish.  Still, considering the diverse group of individuals in this class (coming from Algeria, India, Japan, Taiwan, Turkey, Thailand, Cambodia, as well as different backgrounds here in the US), it’s interesting to hear all the different perspectives.

In the most recent class, the conversation turned towards the meaning of evil and anger towards evil.  They listed off all the usual suspects like Hitler or the 9/11 terrorists as just plain evil people.  It got interesting when we started talking about mothers who killed their children due to extreme post-partum depression, whether they should be considered evil or just mentally ill.

I was very quiet, listening to all the comments made.  I didn’t realize that my thoughts were showing through on my face though.  In the middle of the discussion, a woman turned to look at me and said, “Katy, you look so sad.”  I shared that I felt that I couldn’t personally justify labeling someone evil, just writing them off as unredeemable.  I think choices can be evil, but for all the sacrifice that Christ made, I just can’t fathom that people are completely unredeemable.  Because that could very well mean that I could be unredeemable.

No, I haven’t killed anyone or made some terroristic action against my country.  But I have manipulated and hurt people before, and never asked them to forgive me, or even had the chance to ask.  I have selfishly indulged in the love, forgiveness, and salvation of God, knowing its relief and yet didn’t share it with others who were searching.  I have created the gap between God and myself with my sin, without having a way to repair it on my own, depending on the grace of God to find forgiveness and redemption.

The Bible shows me that I’m not alone.  Paul, as Saul, imprisoned men and women.  David was an adulterous murderer.  Rachel was a manipulative liar.  Jonah wanted to commit genocide.  Moses was a murderer and had anger issues.  The stories in the Bible are not of saints, but of imperfect people, people that could have easily been labeled evil before God’s redemption.

I think something this world desperately needs is an extension of mercy and grace.  One guy in my class said that God doles out mercy and grace and man doles out justice.  But my question is how will others understand that grace if we don’t first give it ourselves?

I’m, of course, not perfect in this wisdom.  I still judge people without mercy and grace.  I write off people as ones that can’t or won’t change, forgetting the stories of the Bible that say different.  I’m hoping to continue working on this because I honestly believe that if people started experiencing the grace of God through us, that we can change the world.  And what better way can we love others, but in the way that God has loved us?