If we only knew … or do we?

Kathleen Kjolhaug
Friday, February 22, 2019
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Theology in the Trenches

If we only knew the ending, at the beginning perhaps … just perhaps … we would not empty out into empty. Baffling it is the human predicament. The long and winding road of life traverses us often times into reverse and the receptacles upon our internal GPS become blocked.

Once the receptors are blocked, we are no longer able to receive. Blocking becomes our mode of operation and we actually become quite good at it. We block all sorts of things. We block out memories, we block out the ability to listen to His still small voice, we block out anger that drives the blockages and all because somewhere along life’s route we blocked out pain.

We blocked out pain because that is how we learned to cope. Often times we are so busy trying to avoid further pain that when old pain is triggered, it blocks receptors. When receptors are blocked, the inflow of what can help heal can also be blocked. We run like the wind towards more familiar pain paths because healthy is unrecognizable. We block the very things that can have the potential to help heal.

More questions come when more questions are asked. Why is it so much easier to turn pain inwards when others have had no problem turning pain outwards upon us? Why do we often take the long hard road back to stability by self destructing rather than receiving Love that can bring healing? I can only go by what I have lived.

My receptors were blocked for a season, and I didn’t even know it. Layer upon layer they had crusted over and soon some of my heart valves were clogged. They were clogged because I had not been aware of what my heart needed. My heart needed to confess and when I did, my ability to receive became unblocked.

It began in my quiet time with a simple request. “Show me my sin.”

And, He did. Before me they danced for mere seconds tops. Then, each one … each little thought, like a bubble, dispersed into thin air. My sins were gone. Poof! (Note: Confession has always been a part of my life. This was different. Although it was still confession, it took on the form of asking the Lord to show me areas of my life that I was not aware.)

Truth is we could spend the rest of our lives acknowledging our sin … our part in any given situation. After all “I” statements empower. But this time, with a mere nod of my head … the weight lifted as it shifted from my shoulders to His. There was no finger wagging … no shaming. He simply took each thought as I confessed. I could almost hear Him say, Let me take that from you. Place them right here so I may carry the load you were hanging on to. You are free now. Go forth. There is freedom in Christ. You are no longer bound.

Once I confessed, my receptors were unclogged … free now to receive. The fruit of confession is the ability to receive. The ability to receive love produces compassion. And so it goes. Compassion eventually leads to us being able to forgive others as we have been forgiven … anointing them with His oil as we hand them off to Him to do His work in Love.

If we knew at the beginning what we know at the end, that freedom rather than condemnation comes by way of confession, would we line up for release rather than cling to the comfort of imprisonment? Would we be dancing in His direction?

“I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden light” (Matt. 11:30).

He’s made a way. Waiting a life time to receive that gift would be like looking at a Christmas package under the tree and never ever opening it because there was a ribbon bound round it.

Let’s start by placing our fingers upon the ribbon. It takes so little effort. With a gentle tug the ribbon no longer binds. Loosed within is a gift. Receive. “For it was while we were yet sinners …” (Rom. 5:8). Amen.

(Kathleen Kjolhaug is a religion columnist.)