trial... and forgiveness.

from yesterday's devotional (credit to Matthew Anderson and N.T. Wright, Christians at the Cross):

"What that means for us – and this is close to the heart of the meaning of the cross – is that the bad things that have happened in our lives, to us personally, or in our community, can be brought to the foot of the cross and left there. He has taken them: lies, injustices, betrayals, insults, and physical violence, all of it. He meant to take them, because in his great love for us, he did not intend that our lives should be crippled by them. Even when we have been partly responsible for them; in fact, particularly when we have been responsible for them. That's what forgiveness is all about: not saying "It didn't really happen," or "It didn't really matter," but instead, "It did happen, and it did matter, but Jesus has dealt with it all and we can be free of it." Jesus didn't want us to be bowed down under that weight, turning us into grumblers and blamers and perpetual victims. He wanted us to take all that evil and set us free from its weight."

it doesn't matter what's happened to us.  it doesn't matter what we've done, or how we've responded to those things that have happened to us.  what matters is that we lay it down at the cross and let Him make it into something good. 
we shouldn't deny it, no matter how hard it is to accept.  even when we don't understand why.... ESPECIALLY when we don't understand why.  it did happen.  it did matter.  but He has given us a way to freedom.  incredible.

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