CHRIST IS RISEN!
I love bright week. After the long turmoil of Lent, to glory in the resurrection of the Savior is such a precious gift.
And yet...there is also a bit of a let down. My spirit senses the absence of the intense reflection and repentance I usually focus on during Lent.
Beyond that, Bright Week is a time when I come to terms with my doubts and ambivalence about my own redemption. This is the time more than ever when I question my worthiness, sometimes my worth, as I confront head on the Glory of the Atonement and recognize how very far I fall short.
In my last post I spoke of physical scars and how they remind me of pains from the past. During Bright Week I am more likely to ponder the emotional / spiritual scars that no one will see but me. However, like the physical marks on my body - these scars remain bearing witness to past problems, and in some ways continue to offer up a stern rebuke in my mind regarding the seriousness of my sins.
We are told in the scriptures that once a person truly repents that God will remember those sins no more. I mostly believe that. I WANT to believe that. Unfortunately, I still remember those sins and some of them I continue to mourn.
Worse than feeling bad about past mistakes is recognizing the weaknesses and frailties I STILL have. I no longer am caught up in the ugly world of substance abuse. I've been clean for over 25 years. Still, there are shadow remnants of those old cravings that these days translate into new struggles. I have learned to PHYSICALLY live the law of chastity. I am as monogamous as a goose. But my thoughts are still all too often unvirtuous. My desires are not always what I would want my Savior to see. I wrestle mightily with pride, with gluttony, with selfishness, with sloth. I worry over whether I am fully honest. I question my own integrity.
I GET IT that the Lord died for my sins and then rose again. What I agonize over is that even though I know that and trust that, I CONTINUE to fall in so many ways, repeatedly missing the mark His teachings and example have set for me.
I feel so unworthy of His sacrifice and love some days. This is not just some fleeting feeling. I AM unworthy. I know that. God does not love me because I deserve it. God loves me because He is God and that is the nature of His existance. That is something I will never fully comprehend.
There are days when I am filled with personal recrimination for my sinning nature. There are times I can't help but wonder, why would the Son of God choose to love the likes me? Then I kick myself in the rear and remind myself that any time I fall into the trap of that sort of thinking I am playing right into the adversary's hand. Lucifer WANTS me to feel discouraged, lonely, overwhelmed, unworthy. The father of all lies wins every time I believe I am so bad I cannot be saved. So he worms and wiggles his way into my consciousness pulling out the stops, pushing every button of self doubt I've got.
GET LOST SATAN! Get thee hence. Because I know better. I know that God Lives. I know that Jesus is the Christ. I know that no matter how weak I am, no matter how great my sins, I AM made clean through the atoning blood of the Savior. I know that I am loved beyond comprehension by a God that knows my every flaw and failing, yet somehow treasures me still. I know that I will continue to wrestle with my doubts and weaknesses all my mortal days. But I will not give up the fight to that nasty devil. I will keep falling. But I will also keep GETTING BACK UP.
"We believe that through the atonement of Christ all mankind may be saved through obedience to the laws and principles of the Gospel." That means me too.
Though my sins be as scarlet... redemption has my name on it as well.
CHRIST IS RISEN. What a priceless gift.