The Outcast: Victory Series, Part 52

Winter storm

Don't we often find ourselves as outcasts? Our addictive sins make us despicable in our own eyes and we wonder how God can even care for sinners like us. How can a holy God ever love someone like us? We sure can identify with Ps 22:6a: "But I am a worm and not a man..." NIV, which, by the way, is a reference to how Jesus felt when He was hanging on the cross.

But then our eyes open wide when we read the Scriptures: "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus..." (Rom 8:1 NIV) "NO condemnation!" I am not condemned after all, once I have accepted Jesus into my life! Jesus carried all of our condemnation to the cross. He carried our shame, our self-condemnation as well as the condemnation of others. It is His gift to us. Why should we even consider carrying it all over again? Wouldn't that be a mockery to the One who freed us from that condemnation?

"...scorned by men and despised by the people. All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads..." (Ps 22:6b-7 NIV) He became the outcast so that we didn't have to linger in self-condemnation!

Let me illustrate this: On one of the only days when we experienced a snowstorm this past winter, our snow blower ate a newspaper before it had even made a single round of the driveway. My son had taken the path of the most snow, and buried underneath it all was an ordinary newspaper, thrown out onto our driveway to be read at our leisure.

Now why would our snow blower eat such a thing? Didn't it know it was created to throw snow, not newspapers? Or maybe it wanted to be hype with the latest news? But whatever the reason, the deed was done. It burped, its stomach mumbling noisily and it stopped in its track, dead at the end of our long driveway, and it had to be transported back in our garage. I could imagine how it must have felt, if it had feelings: "I am useless! I am not worthy of the care I get! No one will ever love me again! I am an outcast, good for the dump!

But instead our snow blower found itself surrounded by four eager attendants, all determined to release it from its addictive trend of newspaper-eating.

But this time the snow blower had really gone too far. The newspaper was stuck so badly that it wouldn't come out. And the cold didn't help matters, either!

Using pliers, screwdrivers and anything metallic at hand, we performed surgery for hours, until our fingers literally were devoid of life. I was even successful in drawing my own blood. Oh well! Who needs a thumb anyway?

With my blood pouring over everything, we had no choice but to take a break, and the poor machine must have thought we had given up on it. But we hadn't. First thing I did after a good night sleep was slip out into the garage and tinker away, praying and persisting at my task at hand.

The snow blower eventually was freed from all the debris it had inhaled, but the trauma had caused damage. It could no longer turn its blades. Its addiction had hurt it deeply. But this, too, was quickly remedied by a trip to the mechanic, where its belts were tightened. It returned home as good as new.

The same is true for us! God will not give up on us until we are completely freed from our addictive traits! He cares! He does require our cooperation, however. We need to let Him perform the necessary surgery. We also need to accept the fact that "There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus". Pity parties are over. We can enjoy the road to recovery!

Do snow blowers tend to eat bikes as well? I can't seem to find my bike. Help!

Rob Chaffart

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