Redemption. It comes in all shapes and sizes. It breaks through the despair and uncertainty that hangs heavy over our storyline like the thickest grey blanket of cloud, one that smothers the soaring soul and quenches the fire. Its shards of light pierce through the crack lines in the midnight strong and guide you back home under cover of brilliant illumination. It is a risky thing, it takes everything within to come back, return after the most bruising and destroying fall, and to be even stronger, more courageous. It is the war paint under the eyes, the determination lit inside, it is the phrase tattooed on this fragile skin.

But none of it would be possible if where your own will choked up, it met where sheer grace and lasting power begin. We have a less than stellar history, this human race. We walk this planet setting ablaze buildings, hopes, good news, relationships we were designed for, the world we’ve been given in all it’s natural beauty. We leave it all in ruin. Attempt to replace it with self constructed materials, artificial wonder, manufactured beauty, two dimensional interaction. We exchange the glorious reality of what we possess with the burning desire to have the one thing and until then can’t rest. In shallow water still and silent, when ocean depths can plunge us deeper in endless contentment.

But still He rescues, he restores. Because He, the One who exists outside of these boundaries and lines of time and space, created this fabric of art and His plan has always been to fight for us. So that we may come to better know His all-consuming greatness and love. He restores all that has been torn down. He decided not to leave us to a terrible nightmare of corruption and ending, but enter in the story, come alongside and offer us strength to be brave, and hope for each chapter and word. And this treasure of resilience is far more than our marveling souls deserve. It’s the very best part of any story. And we don’t have to do anything to earn it. We no longer have to bear the weight of this, of the very world on our shoulders.

As someone who tends to carry around the burden of the space between who I am and who I should be, this concept is hard to grasp. I feel I need to take responsibility and do everything I can to improve. But that’s the beauty of redemption. It covers all my flaws and insecurities by itself. It turns the complicated situations into simple things. Regardless of my performance, the ending is secure.

So as you walk through this week, with burdens and many things pressing in on you, remember to pay careful attention to the truth that underlines everything you do. Your soul is covered in full and nothing you do will ever change that. Instead of trying so hard and falling short, let this cause you to live in a love and joy that stands out in this world so cold. Redemption is the word behind every page of this story.

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