One of my dear friends, Elizabeth, came from an exceptionally broken and destructive family—a family whose experience included prison, abuse, and suicide. At sixteen years old, Elizabeth cried in anger to her mentor, “This is not fair! I don’t deserve this family, this life!”
Most of us would agree with this outcry from a sweet teenage girl subjected to such a life. Elizabeth’s mentor knew Jesus, and . . . replied, “You’re right. You don’t deserve this life. You deserve hell and death, and so do I. God’s gracious love for us provided a Savior who took our sins and died for them. He didn’t deserve death, and we don’t deserve life. It is God’s grace that we have life at all.”
And with that simple word God moved Elizabeth’s perspective from disappointment to hope. Her view of her life shifted from anger to gratitude. Elizabeth found freedom from the bitterness that was beginning to mark her life. Today, Elizabeth is one of the most joyful and encouraging people I know.
Have mercy upon me, O God,
According to Your lovingkindness;
According to the multitude of Your tender mercies,
Blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
And cleanse me from my sin.
For I acknowledge my transgressions,
And my sin is always before me.
The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?
For Your name’s sake, O Lord,
Pardon my iniquity, for it is great.
From Joy for the Journey: Morning and Evening © 2014 by Thomas Nelson (Thomas Nelson, Inc.) Used by permission.