Robert Smith Jr. spoke in chapel Friday, on circumcision of the heart. Smith said everyone makes mistakes, goes through hard times and feels pain. But while our past may shape us, it is not what defines us.
“I know that all of us are products of our past, but we must not be prisoners of our past,” Smith said.
Smith said God still wants to use us and love us, despite flaws, hurts and mistakes.
“There are no unredeemable people,” Smith said. “God can recycle pain, sin and evil.”
Smith gave his own personal testimony as an example. February 26, 1984, Smith’s wife was taken to the hospital because she was coughing badly and had become ill. Smith later learned that his wife had come down with Lupus, a chronic autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks its own healthy tissue.
Later that day, Smith’s wife was moved to intensive care after having a series of seizures. Smith’s wife passed away March 5, just one week later.
What Smith did not expect was what God brought out of his loss and pain. Smith’s wife passed away on the seventh floor, but just 4 floors below them was a nurse named Wanda Taylor, whom the Lord brought into Smith’s life.
Just two and a half years after Smith’s wife passed, God brought Smith and Taylor together. The two of them have been married for nearly 30 years to date.
Smith also told the story of his son, who was shot and killed by an armed robber. While Smith struggled with hatred against the shooter, Christ convicted him of his hatred and caused him to forgive the man who shot his son.
Smith now writes regularly to the man, prays for him and exchanges Bible verses with him.
It doesn’t matter how broken people are because God wants to take messes and turn them into messages, Smith said.
“No matter how you’ve been hurt, and no matter what you’ve been through, God wants to take your mess and make a message out of it so that you can share that you moved from your old house, and you’ve got a different address now,” Smith said.
Smith said God is not interested in making us strong, but in showing us our weaknesses and causing us to rely in his strength.
Image courtesy of Faith Patterson|Cardinal & Cream