This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! 2 Corinthians 5:17
I sat at my desk looking outside at the snow, just beginning to melt off the railings. The ice that we had not yet shoveled off the steps for the mail carrier’s trek up them. At the flag that waved in the breeze. The flag with its holes, rips, and tears that I had not noticed before. Worn out by wind, weather, and all the beatings it had taken flying outside my front porch. Torn and tattered from the storms of its past.
Yet when many of us look at the flag, we celebrate its rips, and its tears. The twists. The turns. The places it has gone. The storms that have ripped it to shreds. We glorify it.
But people? We pick those rips and tears apart. We use them to somehow discount how far they have come from the storms and trials that created those scars. We may even see a new creation, and continue to look underneath for the proof that a tear still exists.
Here’s the deal:
Those rips. Those tears. The past that left scars and marks of shame and regret, people from our past may still live there. And they may still see them somewhere in the back of their mind. But, when we accept Christ, he makes us new. That old person, the person others still want to see, it doesn’t exist anymore. That past doesn’t define us. Those scars may still be there, but they only exist as part of testimony that shows beauty lives there among brokenness. It is only a part of our story, but not the chapter we live in any longer.
And I’ll testify of the battles you’ve won/How you were my portion when there wasn’t enough/I’ll sing a song of the seas that we crossed/The waters you parted/The waves that I walked. -Maverick City Music
Those battles and trials. Those scars tell a story of a redeeming God. A God who cleans up messes and makes things new. Who wins those battles. Who fills all those tears and holes. Who sees only beauty when everyone can only see ashes.
So light a match. Burn those memories from the past. Get up and dance if you want, while you stomp out all those voices that remind you of your stinky, torn, and rotten past. Because that old you…it tells a story, yes it does. But the new you tells one of an amazing God! That’s something to celebrate!