No More Cracks
(by Chris Long)

So the other night I'm out driving in my car.

I can hear your thoughts already: "Good for you, Chris. What's so special about THAT?"

More than you might think.

You see, for the first time in a long time I could truly see with no impediments. Let me explain...

I've had my car for over 10 years and I liked it then and I still like it now (that in and of itself is pretty rare to find in our culture that emphasizes having the latest "everything"). But it had a problem. Shortly after I bought it, some "nice" person's car on the freeway flung a rock to my windshield which produced about a 5-inch curved crack on the lower-left driver's side.

My car insurance at the time would completely pay for "repair", but not replacement of the window. I made the decision to go ahead and "repair" it, which basically meant they sealed up the crack. Unforunately, while it improved the look of the crack some, for the last 9-10 years I've been driving around with this still quite visible crack in my windshield. And every time I looked at it, it really bothered me, but not quite enough I guess to really do anything about it. I just "put up" with it. I came to grips with the fact that this crack was in my life. I settled for the crack.

Well, several days ago, I got in my car to go somewhere and discovered that this crack now extended all the way up my windshield. I'm not positive, but it looks like either a rock or something else hit my windshield actually directly on the old crack (what are the chances?) which then caused the old crack to "break open" again so to speak and it split most all the way up the windshield. Realizing that this was going to be a serious impediment to my driving ability, I called a windshield replacement service and 4 hours later I had a new windshield on my car for far less than I always thought that it would cost to get a new windshield (one of the reasons I never had looked into it before).

When I next drove my car, what completely took me by surprise is just what a clear view I had. I was majorly thrown off by the now gone old crack. I had gotten used to that old crack and didn't really even realize it. For 9 or 10 years, I saw that old crack every time I looked out my windshield. I had learned to "compensate" for it and just "deal with it". But here, with my new windshield, that crack was gone. And I couldn't believe what I had been missing out on for the last 9-10 years. :) Life with no crack - it sure is nice. :)

For the first time in a long time, I had a nice clear view. And all I could think of was "why didn't I replace my windshield sooner?" "Why did I put up with this crack for so many years?"

And that got me to thinking. How many times do we "put up" with cracks in areas of our lives? Some deep hurt over here, some unforgiveness over there, repetitive sin here, grief there, bitterness here, rejection there. Cracks of all shapes and sizes.

Oh, we may think we see just fine. "I can still see the road." Perhaps. But the vision is still obstructed - it's not as clear as it could be. There's still always an awareness of the cracks off to the sides. And one day those cracks on the sides might just open up and split directly in front of your eyes, where they can no longer be ignored and you can no longer go forward.

How much better to deal with those cracks before that happens.

As human beings, we are always learning to compensate for things. We get a jolt here, a jolt there, and we adjust and move on. But God doesn't just want us to "adjust" and "put up" with stuff. He doesn't want us to "stuff our stuff". He wants us to bring everything to Him and allow Him to bring healing into our lives. Each time we get a crack - perhaps the result of some harsh words somebody spoke to us or some hurtful action we did or was done to us - He wants us to come to Him. As we do - as we give him those hurts, as we repent of our sin, as we receive forgiveness or extend forgiveness to others, etc. - we can be "cleaned" - just like getting a new windshield.

So, may I ask, what cracks are in your windshield?

Is there a person that you are angry with? Bitter at? Jealous of?
Is there sin that you've committed that you've never really repented of?
Is there hurt that was done to you that still haunts you and defines you?
Is there grief that has stunted your progress and continues to be a major part of your life?

What are YOUR cracks that you've been "putting up" with?

Let's decide we're no longer going to let stuff that happened to us years ago impact our lives in negative ways now! Let's not put up with those cracks any more!

In Christ Jesus, we can be set free from all bondages of the soul, all hurt, all fear, all anger, etc. John 8:36 tells us that when Jesus sets us free, we are truly free ("So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.") We are set free when we come to Jesus and abide in Him and His words - as we come to know the truth, the truth sets us free (John 8:31-32). And Jesus IS the Truth in the greatest sense (John 14:6).

Jesus came for the sick and broken. He came for people with cracks. He isn't afraid of those with checkered pasts - he hung out with them when He was here on this earth! (Mark 9:10-13, Luke 19:7) He said that he desires mercy and that he "came not to call the righteous but sinners." (Matthew 9:13).

His hand is extended to you. Will you take it? Will you come to Jesus in faith and allow Him to bring healing to your life? Jesus will not turn you away and will declare to you, just as He declared to so many while here on this earth, "your faith has made you well." Jesus is big on freedom - being loosed from your bonds, and healing. If there's any bitterness, anger, unforgiveness towards someone else, Jesus tells us to forgive "so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you..." (Mark 11:25). Maybe that seems too hard, but we are told to do it - at the very least, a place to start is just to be honest with Jesus about it seeming too hard and asking Him for help for you to be able to forgive.

Would you right now bring the Lord your "cracks"? Talk to Him. His arms are open, His heart is full of love, and He is listening to you now.

With love in Jesus,
Chris Long
Laugh & Lift ministries

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This article is Copyright by Chris Long 2012. You may use this article for free for any purpose, whether commercial or non-commercial, as long as you use the entire text and that all text, including this notice, is not modified or removed in any fashion. For any other usage, you must obtain written permission from the author. Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

This is version 1.0 of this document (July 20, 2012).
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