verb: to take place : go on, occur
One of the biggest challenges I face is being able to put my memories on any sort of timeline. I can assuredly tell you that things have happened in my past; I can tell you stories of when I was with a group of people, the things they wore, the things they said. But please don’t ever ask me to tell you when exactly these sort of things happened.
I’m the sort with the inclination to absorb so many details about events that I over-saturate my brain with facts and phrases. How time frame escapes me every single time, I will never be certain.
Pre-Christianity I believed that things just happened. There wasn’t necessarily a reason for events to take place, but that it was just the natural order of things. It helped me to accept that bad things happened in life, and that they most certainly happened at random intervals. That way I never had to go around believing that the tragedies in my life fell all on me, or that any other people were ever allowed to escape all of the bad in the world.
But, I know that it isn’t true. And even if my mouth would articulate that I thought that way with my head, I never felt that way with my heart. I have struggled years strapped by guilt, shame, and regret. I see the events that have transpired in my life and I realize that there are things I still hold onto as my own fault, even when it is ludicrous to believe that it was.
When I came to Christ, I recognized that things don’t just happen without meaning. There are consequences for bad choices. There are consequences regardless of whether or not you get caught. Even if someone doesn’t see the actions you commit in the dark, it doesn’t mean that you won’t ever feel the tinge of regret with the coming of the light. Sin is a cancerous disease, and we all have it.
Those ridden with the disease tend to lash out and hurt other people. And everyone has been the lucky prize winner of being wounded by someone who is full of sin. This all sounds to be tremendously tragic. But there is a light in this darkness.
God works out everything for the good. Every person can be redeemed. Every situation can be redeemed. Every hurt can have a purpose. And sometimes, that very purpose is that the pain you’ve experienced can help you sympathize/empathize with people who encounter similar pain.
I just want to encourage you, today. Anything that has transpired in your life, that you cannot possibly imagine being redeemed? I triple pinky promise that if you release it into God’s hand that it can be redeemed for His Kingdom purposes.