November 19, 2010

Truth brings pain, yet Freedom

When I awoke this morning, I had no idea how Daddy would speak to my heart...I didn't even need to leave my bed!
My amazing Caleb read Fredrick Douglass' autobiography to me this morning while I worked on a Christmas gift.

Douglass, a very prolific writer I might add, describes how he learned to read and write. He wrote of his unbearable pain associated with the understanding because he could read, for the first time, the condition he was in for the rest of his life. This knowledge made him want to die. He saw no way out at first and hatred began to grow inside him towards his owners.

It was actually his mistress who began to teach him to read until her husband told her to stop teaching him! His comment was, 'once a 'nigger' could read, he was useless as a slave'. She stopped, and over time became a 'hard as stone' woman and treated Fredrick very harshly.

He, although only about seven or eight years old at that time, understood that his master knew something that was true and from then on began to teach himself to read.  At 12, knowing he needed to learn to write in order to make his own ticket to freedom, he began copying his master's son's copybook until he could write just like him.  He did some other amazing things to learn, but you'll have to read the book yourself!

There's much more to this story. It's an 'easy read'-- short book to read--but far from easy to read as he describes the brutalities and injustices he witnessed and penned about fellow slaves.

What intrigues me about this man, his story, and as we finish the book, the freedom he gains, is when he came to the place of utter hopelessness and desperation; it reminded me of what happens to each person that comes to Jesus.

We all have to face truth and, with it, a sense of pain. We are a slave to sin. We can't change that, no matter what we do in our own strength and ability.

I personally remember the pain associated with realizing that I was lost and deserved hell. I saw my sin. It was so ugly. I knew there wasn't anything I could do to change my heart. I couldn't try harder, confess my 'badness' enough to be clean on the inside, or work harder to get rid of who I'd become. The root of sin that I was born with had grown into a tree of selfish, self-centered wickedness and I needed to be born-again with a new nature.

Knowledge of my sin brought pain, and yet, it was in that pain I was freed from that sin. Freedom came from someone other than me.  His name is Jesus. His pain, suffering, death and resurrection bought me back from the slave block. That was the solution. He died to rescue me from the clutches of slavery to sin and to give me a new nature, His nature.

Just as Fredrick Douglass was born into sin, so was I.

"     "...God does forgive. But it cost the breaking of His heart with grief in the death of Christ to enable Him to do so. The great miracle of the grace of God is that He forgives sin, and it is the death of Jesus Christ alone that enables the divine nature to forgive and to remain true to itself in doing so. It is shallow nonsense to say that God forgives us because He is love. Once we have been convicted of sin, we will never say this again. The love of God means Calvary--nothing less! The love of God is spelled out on the Cross and nowhere else. The only basis for which God can forgive me is the Cross of Christ. It is there that His conscience is satisfied.
     Forgiveness doesn't merely mean that I am saved from hell and have been made ready for heaven (no one would accept forgiveness on that level). Forgiveness means that I am forgiven into a newly created relationship which identifies me with God in Christ. The miracle of redemption is that God turns me, the unholy one, into the standard of Himself, the Holy One. He does this by putting into me a new nature, the nature of Jesus Christ."        ~Oswald Chambers

We're all born as slaves, but we can be free and soar because He rose from the dead.

As I prepare to be thankful for more than food this coming Thanksgiving,
I am undone by His sacrifice for me.

1 comment:

mom2six said...

Thank you! Giving thanks also for the transformation He works in our lives!


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