"Everything looks great!" Three words that can create a sense of relief that is indescribable unless you've felt it. Three words that, depending who says them, can release the fear that you didn't even know you had until you heard them. Three words that have been thankfully and prayerfully heard year after year yet are still the only three words that you want to hear again this year. Three words that after an entire day of being poked and prodded and wired and questioned and monitored and tested and stesescoped and EKGed and on and on...make it all worth it.
Words are powerful. Words we speak out loud are powerful and words spoken to us even more so. I used to have trouble with my words. And they got me in a lot of trouble too. My words were sharp and cutting and full of spite and anger. They were a terrible attempt to try and release the confusion and frustration and insecurity that was happening inside of me.
Hearing words that bring relief is such a different feeling than hearing words that bite. And hearing them come out of your own mouth. Ouch. If the consequences I got from those around me wasn't enough to make me feel awful, the guilt I felt afterwards was. But I couldn't stop. The words just came out of me. Because I was sick. My heart was sick. Not physically sick, thankfully. But emotionally and spiritually sick. No amount of prayer was going to fix me. Because I didn't understand. Because I didn't grasp it. Because I wasn't willing to make the changes that I needed to make to get myself healthy.
When Jesus was dying on the cross, as he was bleeding and bruised from the horrific beating he received, as he felt the literal weight of the sin of mankind on his shoulders, as he was separated from God the father for the very first time because of the sin he now carried, as he struggled to breathe because of his brutality inflicted on his body, as he was being spit on and mocked and laughed at...he was thinking of you and he was thinking of me. He was thinking of little Emily, with her anger and her spite and her words that hurt because of the hurt she herself had experienced. He was thinking of her little heart that was only going to be half, and also thinking about how she was going to fight to have a long and full life. He was thinking that one day, when she understood the sacrifice he made, her broken heart would be made whole. And then, acccording to the Gospel of John, right before he died and completed exactly what he came to do, he uttered three very big words. With his last breath, Jesus called out, "It is finished!"
It's hard to explain exactly what those three words did. They made a way for us humans to go directly to God. They paid the price for our sins because He was perfect and blameless and sinless. They made a way for forgiveness of sins we have committed. They gave an opportunity to for us to change and have a second chance. They provided restoration and renewal for all those who seek it. They made a way for healing to come to bodies and hearts and minds like never before. They brought hope to a world where their hadn't been any before. They provided peace to enter and demanded that fear flee. They made it possible for a little girl born with only half a heart to live a full life. They made it possible for a girl who was felt confused and alone and very angry, to be feel purpose and to feel loved and to feel peace. They made it possible for a girl whose words tore her and her loved ones down, into a girl whose words build others up and bring hope and healing to her heart and hopefully to those around her too.
I can't help but smile from the inside out when I think about how Jesus', "It is finished!" made it possible for my, "Everything looks great!" Because of his immense and incredible sacrifice, I get to the chance to be poked and prodded year after year to confirm that He truly did finish it. And if we obey the words of the apostle Paul, and "fix our eyes on Jesus", then no matter what the prognosis is; because of His incredible and unending love, everything will continue to look good.
"Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart." Hebrews 12:1-3