Destroying the Shroud

[God] will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples.

Isaiah 25:7

There are still days when it’s hard to believe over 15 years have passed since that day in January 2004 when I surrendered my life to Christ. Sometimes it feels like a million years ago, and other times it seems like just yesterday! The years from 1995 through 2003 are a sad tale of stubborn rebellion, self-inflicted wounds, incredible “highs” that were impossible to maintain or hold on to, which inevitably lead to deep lows and feelings of hopelessness. As I approached my 30th birthday in April of 2003 I often thought silently to myself, “If this is what life is like at 30, I can’t imagine living to be 40.” The dark clubs I called home on weekends were a great metaphor for my life at the time; impenetrable darkness followed me just about everywhere, and at times I thought suicide was the only way out of the mess I’d created.

I couldn’t see it at the time, but all during those dark years Jesus was pursuing me. When that day finally came in 2004, it literally felt as though I’d emerged from a dark cave into blinding sunlight! I remember telling one of my new friends from church that the light of Jesus’ truth was so bright compared to the darkness I’d experienced for so long that it hurt (in a good way!!!).

My devotional for today comes from Our Daily Bread and is titled “Destroying the Shroud.” In it author Winn Collier writes about a woman who lost her sight in a brutal car accident. Then 20 years later she had back surgery, and when she awoke in the hospital she found her sight restored! The neurosurgeon had no scientific explanation for how this could have happened; “The darkness that seemed so final gave way to beauty and light."

Imagine, seeing the face of your daughter for the first time in 20 years - it would be pretty amazing, right? In a similar measure that’s what I experienced in 2004 - after being unable to “see” Jesus for nearly a decade, the veil over my heart was removed and I could once again gaze upon his beauty and majesty. We are all born into sin, alienated and separated from a holy God; through Jesus we can once again see the God who loves us so much!

Collier puts it this way:

Left to ourselves, we experience only darkness, confusion, and despair. We often feel trapped—groping and stumbling, unable to see our way forward. Thankfully, Isaiah promises that God will ultimately “destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples” (v. 7). God will not leave us hopeless. His radiant love removes whatever blinds us, surprising us with a beautiful vision of a good life and abundant grace.

Has Jesus removed the shroud from your heart? If so, rejoice and thank him! If not - make today the day you give your life to Jesus and let your darkness give way to his beauty and light!