Recently a chunk of pages in my bible got bent. It was in my bag, pages side up, and stuff was put on top of it which bent a bunch of pages. The ugly kind of bent, not the pretty “I use my bible a lot” kind of bent. Like right down the middle of the pages big ‘ol chunk bent. I hate ugly bent pages. Maybe it’s just my neuroticness (is that a word?) but it makes it look less valued, less desirable, less perfect, in my mind.
I’ve tried to make the pages flat again by setting heavy books on top of it for a few days. Didn’t work, still looks all bent up. I thought about the clothes steamer (and the iron) but was worried the pages would disintegrate from the water and heat. My pages will never be the same again. The chunk in the middle will always have the appearance of folds and bends and messiness.
My life is full of bent pages too. Bad decisions, permanent consequences. Lots of messiness. Failures. I tried so long to flatten the folds in my life. Hide them, cover them up, pretend they didn’t exist. Overcompensate because of my guilt, my shame, my fear. It was a failure. I wasn’t a failure, but my cover up, “I don’t want to admit my failures” was a failure.
Today I stand before you free. Free from the guilt of divorce. Free from the shame of a child out of wedlock. Free of fear of what others think of me. God set me free. He gave me hope in a new life. He gave me joy in his everlasting love. He gave me mercy in salvation through Jesus Christ his son who died on the cross for me. He gives me grace in His daily blessings in my life.
You can have the same freedom, the same grace, hope, love, joy, mercy. Turn the pain over to God. Literally hand it over to him. Fall down at his feet and surrender all. Your pages will never be unbent but they will be made perfect in their imperfection.
2 Corinthians 3:17 – Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
John 3:36 – So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
Galatians 5:1 – It is for freedom that Chris has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
Acts 13:38-39 – Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Through him everyone who believes is set free from every sin, a justification you were not able to obtain under the law of Moses.
Isaiah 61:1 – The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners.