Some sat in darkness, in utter darkness,
prisoners suffering in iron chains,
because they rebelled against God’s commands
and despised the plans of the Most High.
So he subjected them to bitter labor;
they stumbled, and there was no one to help.
Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble,
and he saved them from their distress.
He brought them out of darkness, the utter darkness,
and broke away their chains.
(Psalm 107: 10-14)
These verses are my story.
Each day I walk upon this earth, I pray I will not forget the dark places I have been, the places where I sat in the utter darkness of sin, shame, and disgrace, where I was locked in a prison of hopelessness, guilt, and defeat.
I hope I never forget just how I suffered when I despised Your plans for me and rebelled against all of the good You wanted for me. Oh how I stumbled in the darkness and fell down so low!
I do not want to forget those lowly places where I called out for others to save me, only to find that they could not reach me where I was. Surely they tried, but they did not have the strength or ability to save me from those unreachable places, and surely they never could have been all that I asked them to be.
Let me remember the moment that I cried out to you, O Lord, from my residence in chains, where all seemed to be lost, and my only hope was you.
How quick was your reply when, on my knees, I finally let go of my pride and asked you to come save me. You were there in an instant. You walked right through the bolted doors of my prison cell and looked down at me in perfect love, as I looked up at You with great wonder and adoring thankfulness. You broke my iron chains apart with your great strength, and you freed me, such a broken person, but one who now had light in her eyes.
You led me out of that dark place and you have stayed with me every moment since.
I am free! Free from the bonds of sin that held me so tightly, free from striving to be good enough in other people’s eyes and my own, and free to serve only one Master, one who will never lead me into darkness.
I pray, Lord, that I will not forget that the freedom I now have came only through Your great strength and love for me. May I always remember what it felt like to have the brilliant light of Your amazing grace poured out upon me. The joy and peace that has flowed from Your touch on my life encompasses me with warmth in the midst of a bitter cold world.
For the rest of my days, I want to praise you for Your unending love and Your commitment to me that did not falter, even when mine did. Your faithfulness is greater than anything I have ever known; it is a gift to me that I never want to stop rejoicing over.
As I walk each day with you, growing older each step of the way, let your compassion on my life be a treasure in my heart. May I never become so far removed from the awe of Your saving power on my life that my light begins to diminish. Let it keep shining through me as a gift of Your love to others.
I praise You God for Your amazing grace.