“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me”. Psalm 23:4
Death does not always represent the end of something, but also can be symbolic for the beginning of life. It can represent the death of an old body, or an old life and being re-born through Christ Jesus. Just like in John 11:25, 26 it is written: “Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: He that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die. Believest thou this.” So in turn, if I sin, and ask the LORD for forgiveness; that would be like shedding an old skin and gaining a new one. Or a better example yet would be, if I was to pray and ask for forgiveness but to forgive all others first. To be baptized and truly seek the LORD’s embrace would then represent the death of the old life. A life full of sin and regret and the re-birth of the new life GOD has laid out before us. Jesus took all matter of sin upon himself so we could be forgiven of our sins. He died a most horrible death so that each of us could live.
It has been years since I was baptized…and yet I can feel the weight of life’s trials and tribulations pushing down on me…like drowning in a sense. I have prayed over and over again asking for GOD to forgive me of the countless sins of my past that still to this day haunt me. It’s not that I haven’t been forgiven for them, because Jesus says “ask it in His name and you shall receive”. Matthew 7:7, 8 states; “7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. 8 For everyone that asketh, recieveth; and he that seeketh, findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened”.
I went through so many different trials and tribulations this whole year to get to where I am now. I was asking and seeking answers as to where my calling was leading me. Well, no matter how many different ways I tried to go, I was always lead back to AROH shelter. At first, I never understood why or what was calling me back here until just a few days ago. I am placed here at this wonderful place to help me grow. Not just with Jesus, but in my faith as well. To teach me life lessons that needed to be learned in order to grow into the stronger woman I am today. To forgive others opens the doors to be forgiven yourself. Forgiven of all your sins, hurts and pains as long as it is what you truly seek. To have a new life. No matter how many times I tell myself that I will get baptized again, I find myself being drawn towards it like the hand of Jesus is guiding me in that direction. Like he is calling me home, and back into his loving embrace, so my new life and, my new journey can begin. Here are two of my favorite poems that have stuck with me and I just wanted to share them with all of you who are reading this.
Footprints in the Sand
One night a man had a dream. He dreamed he was walking along the beach with the LORD. Across the sky flashed scenes from his life. For each scene, he noticed two sets of footprints in the sand; one belonged to him; and the other to the LORD.
When the last scene of his life flashed before him, he looked back at the footprints in the sand. He noticed that many times along the path of his life there was only one set of footprints. He also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times in his life.
This really bothered him and he questioned the LORD about it. “LORD, you said that once I decided to follow you, you’d walk with me all the way. But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life, there is only one set of footprints, I don’t understand why when I needed you most you would leave me”. The LORD replied, “My precious, precious child, I love you and I would never leave you. During your times of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you”.
So even when I go through a new baptism to seek a new life and to begin a new journey, or go through more trials in life, I won’t EVER be alone…because I have Jesus who walks with me and a select few that are close to me that have been helping me every step of the way. I am forever grateful for each and every one of them. This second poem has also helped me to think differently about myself and my self-worth.
By: Russell Kelfer
You are who you are for a reason,
You’re part of an intricate plan.
You’re a precious and perfect unique design,
Called God’s special woman or man.
You look like you look for a reason,
Our God mad no mistake.
He knit you together within the womb,
You’re just what he wanted to make.
The parents you had were the ones he chose,
And no matter how you may feel,
They were custom-designed with God’s plan in mind,
And they bear the master’s seal.
No, that trauma you faced was not easy.
And God wept that it hurt you so;
But it was allowed to shape your heart
So that into his likeness you’d grow.
You are who you are for a reason,
You’ve been formed by the Master’s rod.
You are who you are, beloved,
Because there is a God!
Wow! What an amazing father we have that would forgive us for our past present and future. A father that gives the chance to be re-born to start a new life.