The Burden of Shame

Chapter 14
The Crowing Rooster and Me
A Journey through the burden of shame…..

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. – Psalm 23:5 NKJV

 

I’ll have to admit this wasn’t an easy chapter to read nor to write about. There was one sentence though that really struck me and that is: “The one who will speak with power is weeping in pain.” In this chapter Lucado speaks about Peter’s betrayal of Jesus and how horribly shameful Peter must have felt. Jesus was already fully aware that Peter was going to betray him even before Peter did. As it is written we know that: “But Jesus said, ‘Peter, before the rooster crows this day, you will say three times that you don’t know me.'” Luke 22:33-34

After reading this chapter I realized that even though the many times I have drifted away from God, how many times I felt broken because I wondered if He cared enough for me. Throughout my life, the times when life was just barely worth living, when all around me life was crashing in, I would look up and ask God “Where are you?” “Don’t you care about me anymore?” But the one thing I’ve never, ever done is deny God. I may have been crushed by life, but I have never given up hope.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve come very close to giving up because the burden of life had become extraordinarily hard to bear. Loss after loss life seemed full of tragedy and failure for me. Even as a young child and moving through the many years of life I have often wondered if I was even suppose to be here on this earth. What possible reason would it serve to continue when my heart was so broken, my soul so lost and my life bleeding out before anyone to see. Yet I am still here.

Lucado speaks of that place where one goes when they feel they have betrayed God with sin. That in our boasting we proclaim that we no longer will do whatever it was that brought us such shame. Yet rather than resisting the temptation, we return to it. Then we again relive the cycle of hearing the “rooster crow” and the “conviction of our sin” and then we weep. We go back to our old lives because it is what we know. And for me one of the most gut-wrenching statements, Lucado states “And we question whether Jesus has a place for folks like us.” I too somedays when I feel lost, I ask that same question. Have I gone so far that there is no way back.

Lucado goes on to show us through Peter’s conviction and Jesus’ grace we all, no matter what we have done, have a place at the table with our God. The one who made us and the one that loves us – unconditionally. I know that at times a hurting soul finds that hard to believe. Trust me I know it well. But I also believe in the most simplistic truth – God loves me and I hold onto that every single second, minute of every single day. Otherwise I wouldn’t be able to keep moving forward.

until next time

m

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