“So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:6-8, NIV).
Sara cradled me as she braced for impact.
I was only a toddler and the seatbelt laws had not yet been implemented. It was News Year Day and my parents were driving back from a party with their friend holding me on her lap in the back seat. As we drove through a four-way stop another car broadsided us sending Sara and I flying against the opposite door. I was safe in her arms, but Sara’s collarbone was broken by the impact.
I have no memory of the traumatic event, but others do. Sara’s only thought, as she saw the oncoming headlights, protect Karisa. She sacrificed her own body to keep me from harm. I couldn’t stop the evil that occurred that night. I wasn’t even aware of it. The driver of the other car sped off and never seemed to experience justice for hurting us.
Sin has an impact but does not have the final say. For the wages of sin is death (Romans 3:23). Everything in this life is working towards that end, but Jesus came that we may have life and have it to the fullest (John 10:10). His sacrifice on the cross and resurrection has always given the opportunity for an abundant life. The choices are: Come into agreement with death or embrace life.
I hated my life and came into agreement with Satan’s plot by attempting to take my own life. Growing up I accused God of neglecting me and harbored anger towards him for not stopping the evil of abuse in my life. Yes, sin had an impact, but God protected me from the consequences. I now know the only difference between Judas, the betrayer of Jesus and Peter the betrayer of Jesus is, Peter did not take his own life. He turned his page of betrayal to see the resurrection. God built his church on Peter.
God is building his church on me. I thought I was worthless, unredeemable, and God too distant to care about me. God protected my purpose in the loving arms of a woman who bears scars for my sake.
Jesus bears scars for our sake. We may never know all of them, or how deep they are, but he has a mark for every evil done to us and every evil we have done to others.
I am reaching through these next words and cupping your tear-streaked face in my hands and declaring: Your life was purposed since the foundation of the earth. How many times has God redeemed and protected your purpose? He knows you, he created you, and no matter how much evil impacts you he is trustworthy.
I realize I cannot stop the impact of evil, but I can trust God. Yes, evil takes precious things from us, but there is so much more to the story. Don’t stop living it. There is resurrection. There are changed lives. There is hope that does not disappoint. Don’t stop standing firm in the midst of evil. Come to know the one who wins and resurrects every heartache we experience and give crazy, amazing and abundant life.