It was there. In the corner of my bedroom. It had been there for 3-4 years. It did not belong. It was ugly, messy and unorganized.
It was my basket of heartache.
The basket contained an overflowing mess of binders. Several years ago I went through a heart wrenching ordeal in the family court system. I have five to six large binders full of all of the court filings. Just to glance through them brings tears to my eyes because the experience was so painful.
I do not think justice was served, but I do realize that humanity, not God, is in control of the current justice system.
I know that I have worked on the process of forgiveness. I am not sure at what point one can truly say they have forgiven another completely.
I know that my greatest spiritual gift is grace, so it should be much easier for me, than most, to forgive. Yet, when I glanced through some of the binders, I felt the injustice metamorphasize into bitterness.
I don’t want that. I have seen people whom I dearly love become consumed by bitterness. Bitterness is a ravenous wolf, which can transform a kind and gentle heart into one which is full of rage and vengeance.
So on Independence Day this year I decided to sort through the basket of heartache and move it to an area which I could not see. I sorted through all of the loose papers and organized them into different categories of my life. (Some other items from my life had inadvertently landed in the basket.)
Then I pushed that basket of heartache down deep into the darkness of my hall closet. It felt good to get this out of my eyesight. The mess of it was a daily irritation to me.
Yet it was more than that. I now had an empty corner of my bedroom to transform into something worthwhile. I pondered the challenge for a moment and decided to make it an oasis for my cats. Soon my daughter’s cat, Clooney, was curled up in the cat bed I had placed there.
This process has in some small way helped me to understand the sacrifice of Jesus and the deep love of God.
When my daughter was first born I almost turned completely away from God. I loved her so dearly, I would have easily done anything for her. I could not understand how God could sacrifice His one and only Son for the sins I have committed.
I have done some good things in my life, but I have done my share of sinning also. For God to have given His one and only Son for the good I have done is a bit easier to understand. But for the bad?
When God looks down on me He doesn’t see the sin which I have committed. My sin is like His basket of heartache. So often we think sin just affects us, but the consequences can be far reaching in the pain visited upon others. When He gave Jesus to be my atonement, He swept my basket of heartache into the ocean, with the waves tossing it as far as the east is from the west.
Then He reached out His hand and beckoned me to become not just another heartache but His cherished daughter …
John 3:16 NIV
16 For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.