Pain and Guilt

​There is no real order to all these feelings I’m talking about. They come and go and stay and then depart, Only to return another day. Then the next stage happens. The anaesthetic of denial begins to wear off and you feel what can be only described as a great pain. It’s physical yes but it’s also felt deep inside of you. It can be an emotional pain that causes tears to flow or it can be a silent pain that has no tears just a great deal of sadness. Guilt can sometimes almost consume a person. You remember the things you said, the times you could have been kinder. How you wish you had spent more time with them. You literally ask yourself why dis I not take time to listen to understand?

No amount of self analysis will ever resolve these feelings. Learning to face yourself and see yourself and change yourself is all part of the grief experience. This is something that you might like to explore more over the next few months as you travel with us here in Sanctuary First.

Forgiveness is at the heart of the Christian message. It’s not just about forgiving others it’s about learning how to be able to forgive yourself. It’s about defacing up to the distasteful aspects of who we are and finding a way to change and make amends.

Readings

  • ​In you, O Lord, I have taken refuge;

    let me never be put to shame.

    Rescue me and deliver me in your righteousness;

    turn your ear to me and save me.

    Be my rock of refuge

    to which I can always go;

    Give the command to save me,

    for you are my rock and my fortress.

    Deliver me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked,

    from the grasp of evil and cruel men.

    For you have been my hope, O Sovereign LORD,

    my confidence since my youth.

    From birth I have relied on you;

    you brought me forth from my mother’s womb.

    I will ever praise you.

    Psalm 71:1-6
    NIV
  • ​Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?

    JOHN 11: 25-26
    NIV
  • ​For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God, that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    Romans 8: 38-39
    NIV
  • ​Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

    Revelations 21:1-4
    NIV
  • ​Have mercy on me, O God,

    according to your unfailing love;
    according to your great compassion
    blot out my transgressions.Wash away all my iniquity
    and cleanse me from my sin.

    For I know my transgressions,
    and my sin is always before me.

    Against you, you only, have I sinned
    and done what is evil in your sight,
    so that you are proved right when you speak
    and justified when you judge.

    Surely I was sinful at birth,
    sinful from the time my mother conceived me.

    Surely you desire truth in the inner parts ;
    you teach me wisdom in the inmost place.

    Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
    wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.

    Psalm 51
    NIV

Prayers

  • Transparent Words

    Repentance

    And

    Penitence ,

    Go together

    They’re such transparent words

    They leave no room for fudge

    There’s nothing sweet about these sounds

    Nothing soft and comfortable

    Not easily moved around the mouth

    They are hard to chew upon

    They are designed to move the heart

    The cleansing

    The forgiveness

    Is in the truthfulness

    The tears

    The sorrow

    The turning away from evil

    Are all part of the repentance

    The giving up

    The giving back

    The giving in

    The giving over

    This is all part of the penitence

    Lord

    Today I turn aside

    To address

    My sin

    My pride

    My selfishness

    My greed

    What will you have me do.

  • I can't cut the rope

    Lord

    We all carry our past hurts and wounds

    But it’s the wounds inflicted on others that hurt the most.

    I sometimes cry at night when I think about;

    The consequences of what I’ve done.

    My cheating

    My lying

    My self destruction

    I can never go back.

    To say sorry would make things worse

    So I guess I pretend nothing has happened

    So wrap my hurts up neatly- and hide them away.

    On other occasions they burst out all over the place.

    Often when least expected

    Such a sloppy business – sin

    No sooner are you on top in one area

    Then another area demands attention.

    Lord ,

    I’m always carrying my guilt around

    I can’t let go

    I wear this rope like a penance

    It reminds me of my shame

    My guilt is real

    My shame is real

    Like Captain Mendoza

    I cannot forgive myself.

    My sin is always with me.

    I’m on a ‘Mission’

    To change

    I’ll keep struggling

    I’ll keep climbing

    I’ll keep following

    I’ll keep the rope

    pulling on my neck

    It’s a rope I can never cut

    I can’t free myself

    The cut must come from another

    Oh Lord hear my prayer.

  • Loose Ends

    ​Lord

    To talk of loose ends

    Is to talk about my life.

    Nothing ever seems to end easily.

    Nothing ever gets completed

    I carry so much guilt around

    Things I should have done

    Things I should have said

    Opportunities I never took

    Relationships that I’ve squandered

    Lord,

    Some days they all pile in on me

    I’m living in a messy life

    With others who are also in a mess

    I never seem to make the right moves

    Here I am slipping and sliding

    Saying what I think

    Trying not to slip in an excuse

    Its me who makes the decisions

    Its me who is responsible

    Its me who has to change

    Lord

    Help me gather up my loose ends

    Save me from wallowing in self pity

    Its time to tidy up

    Give me strength to do the right things

    Help me make a mends

    Help me turn loose ends into holy endings

    Amen

  • Ending has meaning?

    ​Creator God

    You are the Alpha

    The Omega

    The beginning

    The ending of all beings

    You who journey always toward the unending

    Embracing the least and the last

    Listen to my plight

    For I feel it is unending

    I live in fear

    Burdened with guilt

    Surrounded by myself

    I am my worst enemy

    I dare not look up to You

    Instead I bow low

    Whispering to You

    Who live in love

    Without Fear

    “I’m unworthy”

    Hear me

    Help me

    Hold me

    As I try to face up to another ending

  • Forgive and forget

    ​Forgive and forget is what we always say.

    It’s just that I can’t, Lord.

    I want to, but I keep replaying the scene in my head.

    I know better what I want to say and do now.

    And I don’t want them to get away with it either.

    It’s just not fair how things turned out before.

    Lord, forgive me when I think I know best,

    forgive me when I hold on to a grudge long after you have let go.

    Help me “forgive everyone everything”

    and to let go (even when I can’t or shouldn’t forget).

    Make me more like you.

  • An old suitcase

    ​Take a moment to be quiet and think about an old suitcase. Not a nice new airline-friendly suitcase. A hard, old, brown case, a bit frayed around the edges, with stickers on of places visited.

    In your mind’s eye open it and look inside. All the things you carry around in it. The words you spoke and couldn’t take back. The time you weren’t there. The places you shouldn’t have been. The things you wish you’d never done. The relationships that went sour. The regrets. The hard feelings. The hurts that won’t go away. The things others have done to you that you blame yourself for. They are all so familiar, even comfortable to have. In case they need to be dusted down and used again.

    Let Jesus look into your old suitcase. What will he do with your possessions? What will he do with this collection of tired memories and faded dreams? What will he do with your hurts and failures?

    Let Jesus empty your suitcase and fill it with love, forgiveness, renewal, hope.

    How does it feel to carry it now?

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