The way some people talk about peace seems very degrading to me. They talk about it as if it is a trick of the mind. As if we just need to clear the papers off our desk and close our eyes, then—poof!—stress is gone and peace arrives. This is such...
Where can I go with my shame? That is the question. The answer does not lie in a new story of loving yourself. The answer lies in the great story of the Son of God who loved you and gave himself for you. There is a love outside of yourself. The Son welcomes you, receives you, holds you, and he will never let you go—irrespective of the cost, even if it means laying down his life for you.
Jesus Christ came into the world so that your life could be part of a better story, so that the worst thing that happened to you would not become the defining thing in your life, so that there could be a seventh chapter for Tamar and for you—a new and better story of hope.
Jesus is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. He lives, so that in him you may be able to despise your shame and rise above it. He lives so that no shame will have the last word in your life.
Think of Tamar with the ashes in her hair. She put them on her head to convey her sense of shame: “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor… To give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes” (Isaiah 61:1, 3).
The headdress is a sign of dignity and honor. Christ can take the ashes of your shame and crown you with his steadfast love (Psalm 103:4), and he will pour that into your soul, so that over time, it will become a means of healing.
Picture Tamar in her royal robe. She tore it because she no longer felt worthy to wear it. But Christ clothes his people in a new robe of righteousness.
In the book of Revelation, we get scene seven—a great company of redeemed people. They are clothed in white robes, and they are not crying out in agony, they are shouting in triumph: “Salvation belongs to our God… and to the Lamb” (Revelation 7:10).
Scene seven in Tamar’s story is that right now she is part of that great company. Christ came into the world so that the outrage of Amnon’s sin should not have the last word in Tamar’s life. He came into the world so that neither your sins nor the sins committed against you would be the defining story of your life. He came so that your life could be part of a great story of Christ’s marvelous redemption.