Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.” – Revelation 21:5
There is this moment in The Passion of the Christ, that if I’ve held it together thus far, I will absolutely loose it then. Jesus is making his way through the streets with the cross, falls, and Mary helps him up. He looks at her and says “Behold, I make all things new.” I burst at that point, and if I delve too deeply into why I burst at that line I know some pretty intense stuff will come out.
A couple of years ago I went through an intense season of restoration. I knew that God forgave me for my sin. I knew that he was continually shaping me to be more like him. What I didn’t realize was the ugliness my sin left behind in my heart… and that sin left a big mess that wasn’t automatically cleaned up by his forgiveness.
Wounds had left scars that didn’t heal.
There was residue. In the form of doubt, wanting to be perfect, worrying about not being good enough, and all the rest of the junk that goes along with just being human. And when I realized that this residue was something God was going to clean up… I just kind of stood back in awe and watched him do his thing. Change occurred in ways I never imaged possible. I saw him work in ways completely unexpected. I am so grateful much of it is recorded here so I can go back and read, from the very beginning of this blog, and be reminded of how it started and how far he’s taken me.
He’s restored me. He’s fulfilled his end of the bargain. He’s makes all things new.
I have been on the mend. I’m pretty sure I’ll be frayed around the edges until I die. I think the part about hearing “I make all things new” that makes me cry is the reality behind it. He will make our hearts new, and I rejoice in that. But it bothers me that he has to over and over again. Why can’t I just overcome all this junk? He’s given me the tools and the strength. Just when I feel it’s been done, more junk comes out. (Or the same old junk comes back.) My tears at that beautiful moment of love as Jesus looks at his mother are tears of both relief and frustration. Hope and hurt.
This is something I’ve been chasing for a long time. Perhaps I will chase it for the rest of my life. The residue sin leaves behind is not something I feel guilty about, nor is it something meant to drag me down. Sometimes I think that residue is there to remind us of God’s goodness and to remind us of how far we’ve come. In fact, the more I think about the residue the more I realize I’m OK with it. It’s the junk that creates more residue with which I take issue.
I want to be new and stay new.
I am slowly realizing as I write this post that being new and staying new maybe aren’t what this journey is meant to be.