“I promise. It will be ok!”
“Don’t worry. I promise I won’t do that anymore!”
“I’ll be there by 5 p.m. to pick you up, Son. I promise!”
“I promise, I’ll never hit you again!”
“I am so sorry I hurt you. I’ll never do that again. I promise. Just don’t leave me!”
“I am so, so sorry I took the money. Believe me, it will never, ever happen again. I promise!”
These are empty promises—words without power or substance, uttered in moments of fear, shame, control. If you’ve heard them spoken to you, you understand the frail hope that they mean it this time. You can remember the times of sadness and sorrow…sometimes of pain.
If you’ve uttered them to someone, usually a friend or loved one, you remember feelings of shame, guilt, fear of exposure or worse, control. And if forgiven, you begin the cycle of dread, knowing you’ve no power to stop or change.
Years pass and we learn to forge ahead, looking for friends or lovers who won’t be promise-breakers, but finding that we are somehow desensitizing ourselves, missing out on true friendships and love as we construct impregnable walls of protection. Walls that kill hope and dilute love.
Life does not have to be lived inside a walled city of dulled emotions and shattered love. There actually is an answer that will release and protect our inmost desires and pent-up feelings; an answer so powerful and true that rewards us with new life, hope and love. This is a never-failing, all encompassing, deeply loving answer supplied by the lover of our soul…our Creator and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Whispering down through the hallways of time and eternity, His “still, small voice” may be perceived in our hearts as we rearrange the furniture inside our city of refuge. A voice birthed in the perfection of servanthood; a voice of sacrificial love and obedience; a voice refined by scorning, mocking, testing, betrayal, torture, and death. And a voice perfected by the earth-shattering victory over death…Resurrection.
And now, sitting at His Father’s right hand, speaking up for us, He whispers, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
He knows how difficult it will be to leave the security of our walled-in existence so He comes to us, penetrating our defenses, to build us up hope by hope, comfort by comfort, assurance by assurance. His eternal, forgiving love transcends all our frailties, sins, fears and guilt. “Don’t be anxious about anything,” He explains, “but in every situation, present your requests to Me and I will give you, in place of all your uneasiness, the peace of God to guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus.”
He cannot lie. He will not lie. He gave His life for you and me because His love was so strong for us. He was willing to face a painful death to set us free and give us a new life…a life outside the walls.