A few days ago my daughter passed the state licensing exam for social workers. The exam tested the knowledge she had acquired over the last four years and a passing grade on it was the stamp of approval from the State of Texas. She is now licensed as a social worker.
As I talked to her on the phone right after she came out of the testing area, the sense of joy and relief in her voice was palatable. The previous days had been difficult ones for her. She wanted to pass the test the first time since every time you have to take it, you have to throw down another two hundred and fifty dollars and she wanted to pass it with excellence. She had invested hours upon hours of study in preparation for the exam, uncountable prayers and had enlisted the prayer support of her friends and family. Despite her best efforts to not be anxious, she had been nursing a mouth full of cold sores and, quite frankly, she was ready for the whole thing to be over. The weight of this test had been a burden that she was ready to throw off.
We celebrated over the phone her amazing score and the sense of freedom that she now reveled in. She had done her part in readying herself for this test and God had proven Himself faithful once again in her life.
About a day later I got a text from her that stated, “I woke up from my nap in a panic about the exam…” Her next words stirred me deeply and have been haunting me for days. She typed, “…Umm excuse you! You’ve been conquered!”
What burden in my life am I still carrying that has already been conquered? What battle am I still fighting that has already been won? What debt am I struggling to pay that has been stamped “PAID IN FULL”?
There is a song on the new Casting Crowns CD entitled “All You’ve Ever Wanted” that has spoken volumes to me. Let me share the words of the song with you…
I just looked up today
And realized how far away I am from where You are
You gave me life worth dying for
But between the altar and the door
I bought the lies that promised more
And here I go again
Lord, I know I let You down
But somehow, I will make You proud
I’ll turn this sinking ship around
And make it back to You
But all my deeds and my good name
Are just dirty rags that tear and strain
To cover all my guilty stains
That You already washed away
(‘Cause) All You’ve ever wanted, all You’ve ever wanted
All You’ve ever wanted was my heart
Freedom’s arms are open, my chains have all been broken
Relentless love has called me from the start
And all You wanted was my heart
I was chasing healing when I’d been made well
I was fighting battles when You conquered hell
Living free but from a prison cell
Lord, I lay it down today
So I’ll stop living off of how I feel
And start standing on Your truth revealed
Jesus is my strength, my shield
And He will never fail me
No more chains, I’ve been set free
No more fighting battles You’ve won for me
Now in Christ, I stand complete
From the cross Jesus said, “It is finished.” There is nothing that I can add to His work that will make it complete. He paid my debt in full. Not a few of my sins or just my biggest struggles, but all of it! He paid for my victory and gave me the right to be more than a conqueror.
Oh, Lord, teach me to walk in all that you died to give me! When I wake up in a panic over something You have already defeated may I, like my daughter say, “Umm excuse you! YOU HAVE BEEN CONQUERED!”