The File Room


By Joshua Harris.

In that place between wakefulness and dreams, I found myself in the room. There were no distinguishing features save for the one wall covered with small index card files. They were like the ones in libraries that list titles by author or subject in alphabetical order. But these files, which stretched from floor to ceiling and seemingly endlessly in either direction, had very different headings.

As I drew near the wall of files, the first to catch my attention was one that read "People I Have Liked." I opened it and began flipping through the cards. I quickly shut it, shocked to realize that I recognized the names written on each one.

And then without being told, I knew exactly where I was. This lifeless room with its small files was a crude catalog system for my life. Here were written the actions of my every moment, big and small, in a detail my memory couldn't match. A sense of wonder and curiosity, coupled with horror, stirred within me as I began randomly opening files and exploring their content. Some brought joy and sweet memories; others a sense of shame and regret so intense that I would look over my shoulder to see if anyone was watching. A file named "Friends" was next to one marked "Friends I Have Betrayed."

The titles ranged from the mundane to the outright weird. "Books I Have Read," "Lies I Have Told", "Comfort I Have Given", "Jokes I Have Laughed At". Some were almost hilarious in their exactness: "Things I've Yelled at My Brothers." Other I couldn't laugh at: "Things I Have Done in My Anger", "Things I Have Muttered Under My Breath at My Parents". I never ceased to be surprised by the contents. Often there were many more cards than I expected. Sometimes fewer than I hoped. I was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of the life I had lived. Could it be possible that I had the time in my 20 years to write each of these thousands or even millions of cards?

But each card confirmed this truth. Each was written in my own handwriting. Each signed with my signature. When I pulled out the file marked "Songs I Have Listened To", I realized the files grew to contain their contents. The cards were packed tightly, and yet after two or three yards, I hadn't found the end of the file. I shut it, shamed, not so much by the quality of music, but more by the vast amount of time I knew that file represented. When I came to a file marked "Lustful Thoughts", I felt a chill run through my body. I pulled the file out only and inch, not willing to test its size, and drew out a card. I shuddered at its detailed content. I felt sick to think that such a moment had been recorded.

An almost animal rage broke on me. One thought dominated my mind: "No one must ever see these cards! No one must ever see this room! I have to destroy them!" In an insane frenzy I yanked the file out. Its size didn't matter now. I had to empty it and burn the cards.

But as I took it at one end and began pounding it on the floor, I could not dislodge a single card. I became desperate and pulled out a card, only to find it as strong as steel when I tried to tear it. Defeated and utterly helpless, I returned the file to its slot.

Leaning my forehead against the wall, I let out a long, self- pitying sigh. And then I saw it. The title bore "People I Have Shared the Gospel With". The handle was brighter than those around it, newer, almost unused. I pulled on its handle and a small box not more than three inches long fell into my hands. I could count the cards it contained on one hand.

And then the tears came. I began to weep. Sobs so deep that the hurt started in my stomach and shook through me. I fell on my knees and cried. I cried out of shame, from the overwhelming shame of it all. The rows of file shelves swirled in my tear-filled eyes. No one must ever, ever know of this room. I must lock it up and hide the key.

But then as I pushed away the tears, I saw Him. No, please not Him. Not here. Oh, anyone but Jesus. I watched helplessly as He began to open the files and read the cards. I couldn't bear to watch His response. And in the moments I could bring myself to look at His face, I saw a sorrow deeper than my own. He seemed to intuitively go to the worst boxes. Why did He have to read every one?

Finally He turned and looked at me from across the room. He looked at me with pity in His eyes. But this was a pity that didn't anger me. I dropped my head, covered my face with my hands and began to cry again. He walked over and put His arm around me. He could have said so many things. But He didn't say a word. He just cried with me. Then He got up and walked back to the wall of files. Starting at one end of the room, He took out a file and, one by one, began to sign His name over mine on each card. "No!" I shouted rushing to Him. All I could find to say was "No, no," as I pulled the card from Him. His name shouldn't be on these cards. But there it was, written in red so rich, so dark, so alive. The name of Jesus covered mine. It was written in His blood.

He gently took the card back. He smiled a sad smile and began to sign the cards. I don't think I'll ever understand how He did it so quickly, but the next instant it seemed I heard Him close the last file and walk back to my side. He placed His hand on my shoulder and said, "It is finished." I stood up, and He led me out of the room. There was no lock on its door. There were still cards to be written.

Amazing Grace


When we look at mankind against the immense backdrop of Godís creation, we realise how incredibly small, and fragile, and weak we are.  And though we are so very small, He shows us in His word that we were made just for Him; that we are the apple of His eye, and the centre of His universe.    

When we see how far we have wandered from His purpose and from the promise of abundant life and joy that God has ordained for us, He tells us He is always there to forgive us, to restore us back to full relationship with Him.   

When we ponder the mysteries of God and His Amazing Grace toward a fallen and often ungrateful mankind, He proves He is always faithful to us. 

When we consider His abiding and unconditional love for us, and though we often neglect Him, fail Him, hurt Him and fall short of His standards which are true and Holy, He reveals He is always there for us.  Romans 3:23

When we think about how God the Father sent His only Son to die in agony and shame at Calvary, to bear and take upon himself the full punishment and consequences for our sins, even though we ridiculed Him, beat Him, mocked Him, spat in His face, and finally killed Him; He reveals the depths of His love for us.  John 3:16-17   Romans 5:8

When we remember how our Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ was brutally whipped so that we could have healing, how He freely laid down His life and shed His blood for all mankind so that those who call upon His name, can know the Fatherís forgiveness and have eternal life; we see His sacrifice for us.  Romans 10:13 

When we read how the Creator of everything that exists humbled himself by becoming a man to die on a lonely cross, how He descended into the bowels of the earth and hell to set the captives free, then arose victorious after three days to lead us into His new covenant of Grace; He reveals His tender mercy toward us.  Ephesians 4:8-10  1 Peter 3:18-20  Psalm 68:18 

When we consider all these things and how the Universe Maker became the Sin Bearer, only then can we even begin to understand and get a glimpse of how truly amazing and wonderful is; Godís grace, mercy and love toward us.  

Godís love for us is infinite.  It cannot be overstated and is overwhelming to us when we finally begin too see and understand this truth; And, though we fall a thousand times, or ten thousand times; still Godís love for us never fails.   He is a Father to the fatherless, a Saviour to the lost, our Provider, our Healer and our Guide.  He is the Alpha and Omega, The beginning and the end, He is ĎI AMí. He is everything we need Him to be in our lives, and He is our Very Best Friend. 

When we fall, He is always faithful and there to pick us up again. His Holy Spirit is our guide, and gently convicts us of sin with no hint of condemnation. His word reveals to us that we no longer need to be slaves to sin and can be overcomers in all areas of our lives if we daily meditate on, treasure and store His word in our hearts, and, daily come to the throne of God in worship and prayer. When we do this we discover temptation and sin loses its power over our lives; because as we develop this kind of loving and tender relationship with God, He plants within us a new heart that delights in doing His will.

Letís Pray Together.

Gracious Heavenly Father;

We thank you for your infinite love, patience and grace toward us. We thank you for your willingness to forgive us and we thank you for your unfailing mercy and compassion toward us. We thank you that when we turn to you in true repentance and ask you to forgive our sins in Jesus name; that you are always faithful and just to forgive us our sins; to cleanse us from all unrighteousness, and that you cast our iniquities into the depths of the sea; never to be remembered by you again.  1 john 1:9    Heb 8:12   Heb 10:17   Isa 43:25   Micah 7:18-19   Jer 31:34.   We pray you will help us to overcome sin in our lives; by teaching us to meditate on Your Holy Word every day, and store your Word in our hearts. We pray you will help us to resolve to daily come to Your throne of grace in worship and prayer; so that we may grow in perfect relationship with You. We ask this in the name of our Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.






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