Our pastor used to pull out a blank sheet of paper and tell us that we were born like it: clean, innocent, and blameless. However, he’ll start crumpling, tearing and stepping on the sheet as he enumerated the sins we learn to do as we grow up. He’ll recite a long list of sins until the blank sheet of paper is beyond recognition; until it was worthy of the trash can.
It was on January 30th that I decided to turn my Informative speech for my speech communications class into a testimony— the story of how I realized my worth in Jesus Christ. Hands numb and shaking, I tried to articulate what Jesus has done for me and how He changed how I saw myself.
As I was near the end of my speech, I noticed my revised speech plan lying on the table near me. It was a split-second’s decision; though my time was running out, I would do to my speech plan what my pastor did with that blank sheet of paper. I believe that it was the Father who made me do that, because more than making me speak in front of my classmates, He was also teaching me something.
I held up my speech plan to my classmates. “Look at this,” I said. “It’s my speech plan. I worked hard for it. Thought hard for it. Carefully prepared and revised it.” That was when the revelation struck.
Aren’t our lives just like my speech plan? It’s not true that we stay as blank sheets of paper as we grow up. We strive to be something. We struggle to reach our dreams, to prove ourselves. and to draw other people’s attention and approval. We risk, we gamble, and we sacrifice many things in our lives to achieve perfection and beauty. Just like what I tried to do with that speech plan, we all do our best to be the best, to get what we want, to be somebody that we want. We become more than blank sheets of paper. We fill our lives up, we want to become so much more.
There comes a time that we mess up though. We fail that exam, we fail to make it to that university, or we fail to land that job. Our families and relationships suffer problems. We run out of money, we run out of hope, we run out of fervor and passion. We do things we shouldn’t.
All of a sudden, that paper we’d been working so hard to perfect receives a blotch. Then another blotch. The letters fade, and all our efforts seem wasted. It will all come to a point when what we worked hard for such a long time will all come up to nothing because of an unexpected and sudden turn of events.
Yes, all of us have gone through these things. We know how it feels like.
We have nothing else to present to other people. We feel like we have nothing more to offer; we’ve given it all, but it was in vain.
Here’s the good news, though: Jesus came to pick us up and exchange speech plans with us: His for ours. If our individual speech plans would have to be evaluated, our professor, God, wouldn’t have wanted to look at them. They were unacceptable! Jesus Christ’s, however, was clean, organized, beautiful, artistic and excellent; worthy of the Professor’s perfect score and highest remark. This speech plan— this life— is exactly what Jesus Christ gave us so that we can come freely to the Father’s throne. This is grace.
I raised up the crumpled and torn speech plan and carefully placed it between the pages of my journal. “This is what happens when you accept Jesus offer to you,” I said. “The two of you become one. Your failures, mistakes and sins become lost in His great big love. All that God sees when He looks at you is what Jesus has done on the cross.”
You can no longer be called failure, freak, ugly, careless, liar, hypocrite or crazy now that Jesus has been added to your life’s equation. One: His life is yours. Two: the two of you have become One. Your Savior’s involvement in your life changes the game. Victory is yours. You can be sure that whatever may the past hold against you, Jesus is greater than. His plans outstands your past. His capabilities are beyond yours. And all you do is trust Him. Trust Him to get you through. Trust Him to finish what He started in your life.
“You can be sure that this unity will never be broken,” I said, shaking the journal where the speech plan was hidden. “Paul said to the Romans that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow— not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below— indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. You can hold on to that. Jesus was serious as He wrote that through Apostle Paul. He won’t let go.”
He covers our lousy speech plans with His own. He covers us with Himself. We are in our safest and most beautiful place in Him.