That Wasn’t Your Last Chance

17 10 2012

In the wake of the death of Amanda Todd the government forms a committee to come up with strategies to combat bullying; anti-bullying groups hit the air-waves to say what they have always said; people wear pink; Facebook posts attract crowds of comments with varying degrees of sympathy; psychologists weigh in; teachers remind children to be kind; and as I take it all in, a certain truth speaks into my inner ear:

There is an antivenin for bullying: it’s living in everyone who has been rescued by the love and grace of Jesus which greets us with fresh promise every morning.

The person on the edge of suicide thinks that the options have run out for them; despair. The beautiful thing about the love and the life Jesus offers us is that hope keeps resetting. When things get messed up, when we get messed up, “God keeps renewing the promise and setting the date as today” (Hebrews 4:7).

This Truth is remarkable to me because the world doesn’t work that way. In the world there are last chances. In the world people say, “I’ve had enough of you.” The world is full of traps and dead ends and pink slips; people who rise from the ashes are the exception, not the rule. So this is the system we live in and it is very hard to think outside of that.

Jesus offers water to the thirsty and bread to the hungry and says He will heal our wounds and what do we do? We doubt it. We think we are the exception to that offer; how could God possibly love, accept, forgive us? We conclude our situation is so broken it is beyond help or hope. Knowing this, He says to us:

“Today, please listen, don’t turn a deaf ear…” (Hebrews 4:7)

When you are in a dark place, your instincts are all off and you need a lighthouse. Our minds plays tricks on us and more than ever we need Truth that stands outside of us, shouting our name. Jesus is that Truth and He tells us not to drop out (Hebrews 4:11) because this wasn’t our last chance; He keeps saying that, no matter what our present circumstances are because he keeps resetting the day so there is a new opportunity for us.

The promises of God are like the movie Groundhog Day, where Bill Murray keeps waking up to the same thing. The promise of hope, and peace and rest in the love of God is new like that. The Bible says

“The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin fresh each morning…therefore, I will hope in Him.” (Lamentations 3:22-24)

So I know this, but Amanda didn’t. I cannot be lazy and glance over people; I need to see them with open eyes and not leave them to find hope somewhere else. I need to live less selfishly and love more lavishly, ladelling it out wherever I go…literally. I need to just slow down and realize there is no greater ambition then to sit with a person and listen and care.

I am the house Jesus is building (as I wrote about yesterday) and it is in this house, people ought to hear the words that are good today and then again today and today again; finding hope and comfort and living room.

— Teresa Klassen

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One response

17 10 2012
Chantelle Funk

Thank you – needed those words. I like the idea of the lighthouse. Have a fantastic week.

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