Our ladies Bible study is currently doing a wonderful, video driven study called “Faithful, Abundant, and True.” The teachers are Kay Arthur, Priscilla Shirer, and Beth Moore. I would highly recommend it.
Last night, we listened to Kay Arthur bring a powerful message as only she can.
There she stood on the stage in front of thousands of women. She is 75 years old but she moves and talks like someone thirty years younger. She was the picture of elegance: beautifully dressed, hair perfectly coiffed, makeup expertly applied.
Then she began to tell her story.
Unflinchingly. Boldly. With raw honesty. No excuses for her behavior. No whitewashing the truth. No neat and tidy explanations.
It was ugly.
It is her story to tell so I won’t do that here, but I so admired her bravery and fearlessness. She could have very easily glossed over the unflattering, ungodly, and harsh things she had done or said. Her audience would never have known. However, Kay Arthur was not there to lift up herself as someone to be admired. She had no interest in showing the world a cleaned-up version of herself.
She was there to showcase Jesus Christ and the miracle He has done in her life.
So many times at church (especially at women’s events) we hear the “pretty” stories. And yes, pretty stories have their place and can be very encouraging.
Kay’s story was not pretty in any way. Her scars run very deep and the heartache of her painful past lingers.
YET…she invited Jesus right into the middle of the ugly mess.
Jesus was not intimidated. He was not repulsed. He was not overwhelmed. He was not at a loss for what to do.
Rather, He entered her ugly and He transformed the ashes of a broken and ruined life into something exquisitely beautiful.
Because that is what He does. Always.
He comes right into the ugly mess in gracious response to our invitation.
Don’t be afraid to issue that invitation. He knows it all anyway.
He looks on us with kindness and tenderness…never condemnation. He lifts us up. He binds up our wounds. He whispers His love. He dries our tears. He accepts our repentance. He forgives us. He breathes gloriously fresh air into the space where the enemy has left his calling card of guilt, humiliation and shame. His light floods our darkness. He decisively destroys every chain that binds us. He honors and esteems us. He promises that He knows what He is doing and He will lead us out. He rescues us and He teaches us to walk in electrifying freedom.
Do not be afraid to follow Kay Arthur’s example.
Dare to believe the promises of God’s eternal Word.
Dare to invite Jesus right into the middle of your ugly and let Him do what He does best: transform it all into a platform that will show a watching world the dazzling beauty of the Savior who comes to seek and to save the lost, the hopeless, the dying, the forsaken.
And then dare to walk through this life as a forgiven woman.
No more chains.
No more shame.
No more masks.
More in love with your Savior than ever.