This is Exactly When Boldly Was Made For
Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.
For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
I see you standing there in the corner.
You’ve failed. Again. You know it and I know it. You gave into your flesh, into temptation. You’re living in despair. You’ve doubted God in the middle of trials. The why doesn’t really matter as much as, we have found ourselves here. Standing in the corner. In the shadows.
In front of us is a throne. A beautiful white stone throne. A holy hush fills the room. Not completely quiet, for its as if you could hear angelic voices in the background. A beauty fills the room too. Its hard to pinpoint exactly what’s so beautiful. Is it the flowers? The brass? For some reason it seems to be more of an atmosphere than a particular item. All I know is that the beauty is filling my soul and drawing me in.
Yet, you’re still in the corner. In the shadows. I see it now. The weight of your shame. Its like a physical presence on your shoulders. Weighing you down so that you are stooped by it. Paralyzed by it. You can’t move forward, walk into the light, because your shame is holding you back.
The light is so beautiful. So etherial. The source of this light is supernatural. Everything is so bright, yet it doesn’t hurt the eyes. I’m drawn to it, but instinctively know its not as though a moth to a flame. For this light would never hurt me, us. Oh, its illuminating. I’ve never been so aware of my failings. We share a look and know that we’ve just seen ourselves differently. But not shamefully. No, the light doesn’t lie about who we truly are. But it doesn’t lie about how God sees us either.
“Isn’t the light beautiful?” I say.
“I feel as though the light of God’s presence just casts the shadow of my shame…”
Oh dear one.
“This is when boldly was made for.” I want to speak it into your very soul.
“Boldy!” You reply. “That feels impossible.”
Yes, dear one. Boldly. Not boldly because of who you are. Oh no. Never that. For we have been in the presence of the light. We know exactly who we are. We can see each flaw. Each failing. Each time I am in the presence of the light, I can see deeper. More clearly. What I see, the potential that is in me, petrifies me. Often I find things I didn’t even know were there. Oh no, not boldly because of my goodness.
There can be no pride here. In this room, every good thing I’ve done seems as though it could never even enter here. All my deeds that were shiny, and beautiful, and sparkly in my mind, applauded by others, they seem to tarnish compared to the beauty that is here. My list of reasons for the right to be here, they vanish. There is only one word that matters here. You know the word and I know the word.
Its why we can be bold. But it can be oh so hard to accept.
“Boldly? Maybe you don’t know what I’ve done.”
I know, dear one. And even if I didn’t, I don’t have to. Every deed can be cleansed in this room. I know that boldly can feel impossible. Especially when others cannot forgive. When you have been shunned. When people have turned their face from you. Refused their forgiveness.
There have been other rooms you have walked into. Some rooms, you can hide the shame. Some things we can keep inside, pretend, and maybe no one will know. And we hold it all together, not seeking help. For surely no one would understand. Other rooms, we walk in and no one can face us, for our shame is public, the consequences cannot be kept private. No one can face us, or they do and their face is full of judgement, or they don’t know what to say, or even yet how they feel.
Please look up at me dear one. Look me right in the eye. I want to be your cheerleader. I want you to feel these words down to the depths of your soul. This is exactly when boldly was made for.
You have one more reservation.
“But that’s God there. The holy God, the just God. The God I failed.”
Yes, that’s true. And it would seem that all boldness would fall away in the face of that fact.
But you’re forgetting who walks with you. Our brother, our high priest, stands waiting just in front of you. You were forgetting to look at Him for a moment. He’s standing right there. His hand is outstretched. Just above His wrist is the hole. The reminder that He has the right to approach for us.
Oh dear one, look at His face. His face is so full of compassion right now. He knows what you’ve done. He knows. Yet, the love is not diminished. He wants to bring you to the throne. Take His hand.
This. This is where the boldly comes from. Not from within us. Oh no. The light has shown us that. The boldly comes from whose hand we hold. Let me tell you one more time.
“This is exactly when boldly was made for.”
I watch as you grab ahold of Jesus. Tears run down my face, for I know the reception you are about to receive. You forgot for a while dear one. In the face of your shame, you forgot who you are. And who Jesus is. And who God is. And you are about to remember. He has many names. Powerful names. Just names. Holy names. But right now you just need to cry one.
Its as though the angels have stopped singing for a moment in awe. They don’t want to miss a moment, for they love this part. There is silence in the room. Except for the sounds coming from you as you lay at the base of the throne.
“Abba! I sinned. Again. I’m so sorry. Will you forgive me?”
Now through my tears, I’m smiling. For Abba’s response is always the same. And beautiful every time.
He stands up. Where some might see a threatening tower, we see Him as the strong rock that we can cling to.
When He stands, we can see the throne. There’s that word. That word that we know, but forget sometimes. Its written in the most beautiful brush strokes on the back of that throne. Its like it was written with the greatest care and love. A beautiful reminder every time we approach the throne.
How sweet the sound.
Abba takes your face in His hands and says, “Done. Every time. As many times as you need.”
Then He takes a cloak, deep and beautiful and coloured like blood. As He puts it over you, your cloaks of shame and sin disappear. The beauty and grace of it take my breath away every time. The weight seems to fall off your shoulders. And as my breath is taken away, yours is restored. You can breath deep again. You straighten and look Abba in the eye. The conversation between the two of you is hushed and private, but the gratefulness on your face is evident to everyone in the room. For you have been with Abba. And it doesn’t matter if there are still consequences, if others haven’t forgiven you, you know how Abba feels about you. And that is enough.
He calls for a celebration. The angels start their singing again, for the prodigal son has asked forgiveness, and all is forgiven by the gracious Abba. Its a timeless story that never grows old. The sounds of a party fill the air.
I run forward to join in the celebration. And I hope and pray that I will every time. For there is nothing more beautiful than forgiveness and no better word than grace.
We will meet here again, dear one. For we will need this room many, many more times before we enter that perfect eternity with Abba. When we fail, when we sin, when we can’t believe, I’ll whisper it to you, and you whisper it to me.
“This is exactly when boldly was made for.”