Where do you begin a story when you are unsure yourself where it began? Was it the first time I put my finger down my throat as a 21-year-old, and discovered I had a new tool in my weight loss pocket? Or maybe it was the moment as a little girl that I realized I didn’t look like the typical, sought-after woman on TV? Or was the moment as a teen when I began to notice my chin wasn’t clear-cut like the chins of Hollywood movie stars? I’m not sure when my story with bulimia began. Do any of us? Can any of us pinpoint the moment when our minds began playing with the initial spark that slowly grows, until we found ourselves in a forest fire of our own making? Escaping from a fire that Hell scoffs at seems impossible, and the only path left to us seems to be the one that takes us even further into the fire until we are face to face with the real deal, where the worm dies not. So are Satan’s tactics. The Angel of Light sheds his clothes to reveal the dark face of the Evil One. Trapped and suffocating, in a moment, it dawns on us – so THIS is where that path led. It led to a hellish existence on earth. We are but a withered shell of a people that we once were. The spark we thought could be contained and happily played with has robbed, stolen, and destroyed. In Tolkien’s words, ““The way is shut. It was made by those who are Dead, and the Dead keep it, until the time comes. The way is shut.”
BUT GOD, who is rich in mercy…I have often wondered, “Why?” If for no other reason than for our understanding of the richness of His mercy to deepen, if for no other reason than for the depths of His love to appear more radiant, if for no other reason than for the beauty of His light to stun us in its dazzling brightness. He delights to burst His light into our darkness. He delights to pour forth the showers of His grace on the forest fires of our hearts. He delights to say, “Peace. Be still!” to the tempests that rage in and around us. He delights to show Himself great in working out our good.
While we might not be able to point to the time when our story began, let us hope in the One who started our story before the foundations of the earth were laid. Let us hope in the One who keeps our story going, and let us hope in the One who will bring it to completion.
I invite you to journey back with me to the time when I began playing with fire, so that His rescue might appear all the more glorious.