This devotion was given by new NLC member, Keyla Christenson. Keyla shared this devotion prior to rehearsal on November 10, 2015.
This devotion is more of a meditation, so stick with me. Take one of the gem stones that are going around in the jars. Hold that stone in your hand, rolling it around delicately. Feel the smooth surfaces. Now, picture an event or a person in your life that has caused you hurt, pain, regret, or hardship. Perhaps, you picture something you personally have done that you wish you hadn’t. Whatever comes to mind that plagues your thoughts, put it inside that stone. Did the stone become a lot heavier all of a sudden? Our regrets can weigh us down and burden us more than we could ever believe.
Do you have words that you wish more than anything that you could take back? What about a time that you heard something going on that was hurtful to someone and didn’t do anything about it? Do you have a memory that you wish would just go away? Did something happen to you that you haven’t been able to shake off, no matter how hard you tried?
Focus on how the stone feels when you hold it in your palm. When you listen to someone speak, what gives his or her words weight? How do you decide to listen to what’s being said? Most often, we measure a person's message against his or her experience, dismissing words that don’t match the speaker’s story. For the sake of time, I won’t tell you the details of my story, except it is one that does have a sort of underlying theme all the way through it. Redemption and forgiveness flows through my story as much as blood flows in my veins. After carrying what felt like the weight of the world on my shoulders, I forgave someone who hurt me more than I can ever put into words. Suddenly, after years of carrying my regret around, I was able to be free and thrive again. Sure, it sounds corny, I know, but I can assure you it’s so much more than saying sorry for getting kicked on the playground. Searching inside yourself is the scariest thing to do, but luckily, with the forgiveness and grace God grants us, it doesn’t have to be quite so hard.
Look at your stone again. What does it mean to you now to hold it in your hand? I urge you to keep your stone with you until you are ready to let go of that person, event, memory, or time that is weighing the stone down. That’s weighing you down. You are more than your regrets, because God allows us something so beautiful and so pure. Forgiveness. No matter what you have done or said, you deserve redemption in the eyes of God. 1 Corinthians 1:13-14 says, “God has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
Please pray with me. God Almighty, it is through you that all things become made new. We trust that you watch over us each and every day to guide us, through all that we do. We ask all things through your Son, Jesus Christ, who taught his disciples to pray, Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. Save us from the time of trial, and deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours, now and forever. Amen.