One Against the Tempest
I woke one morning heavy with the remembrance of failures, tormented by questions, doubts about the past. Shadows of things I confronted and answered long ago stalked my mind, and like shadows, were impossible to wrestle to the ground. Every turn of thought cast the shadows in despairing new directions. Whirling to meet them, I merely dizzied myself with the effort.
I felt confused and disoriented and disheartened. The silt of years covered a delta of contradictory thoughts making it virtually impossible to inspect the original streambed of my inner workings. Had I been right? Was the problem fully resolved?
I thought and prayed. Resisting Satan and drawing near to my God, a Word whispered above the wind of accusation: “. . . if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” Jesus words, recorded by John—memorized many years ago and ministered by the Spirit of God in my moment of need. I grasped the truth with both hands, clinging to this pillar that didn’t sway amid the tempest of my inner world.
“Free indeed,” Jesus said. On what basis? Because I have always done what’s right? Because I’ve sailed through rough seas without sustaining damage? Because I’ve triumphed over every temptation and leapt every wall of doubt?
No, free through the Son alone. If He has set me free, then I am free—really free. The One who knows my words before I speak them, my actions before I do them, my thoughts before I think them—this One understands me better than I understand myself. And knowing me—even all the bad and ugly—He loves me. And loving me—in spite of me—He sets me free.
I’m not shackled to real or imagined sins of years gone by, and I don’t need to live as though I am. I’m not handcuffed to my own reasoning, locked in the graceless darkness of fallen imagination. I’m free, and when I open my eyes to my Emancipator I find there’s no condemnation in Him. He is all grace and no judgment to me.
As I pondered, an old song found it’s way through the corridors of my mind, poured through my lips, and triumphed over doubt’s dissenting voice:
Jesus, Thy blood and righteousness
My beauty are, my glorious dress;
Midst flaming worlds in these arrayed,
With joy shall I lift up my head.
Joy indeed because I’m free—free indeed through the Son alone.
© January 2012 by Robert G. Robbins