Cloak of Offenses

Author: Savannah Coleman — Host: Dylan KraayenbrinkPosted on: March 15, 2024

Unlocked: Daily Devotions for Teens
Unlocked: Daily Devotions for Teens
Cloak of Offenses


Frigid air made my eyes water as I pulled my cloak tighter around me. I watched my breath come out in little puffs of white, an ode to the snow that most certainly lingered on the horizon. Night would soon be upon me, and I needed to make camp and a fire, but my cloak called to me.

Opening the folds of my leather cloak, I pulled out one of the gems from one of the many pockets: an egg-sized ruby. Shimmering in its crimson depths was a tale from my past, this one not fifty days old. “We are sorry, but you’re just not who we need.” My fingers gripped the ruby harder as the memory washed over me. “This other warrior is more qualified to complete the task…” My cheeks burned with shame and anger as I placed the gem back in its pocket.

As the sun broke over the mountains, I stretched my stiff back. I had lost more time than I thought caught up in reminiscing over that ruby, so when I finally fell asleep, my bedding of hard ground had to suffice. Tonight I would take the time to craft an appropriate bed. My stomach protested in hunger, reminding me that I needed sustenance for the journey ahead.

But, the cloak called to me. Deep in a pocket near my heart, I reached for an emerald as large as my fist. The glistening green of the gem blurred as tears clouded my vision. I watched a scene I knew well despite the years that had passed. “The way you handled that was wrong…I can’t believe how much time I’ve wasted being with you.” This memory hurt more than others, for the person speaking was dear to my heart. Hours passed of reliving the hurt before I remembered I must continue my journey.

At midday, I could feel my steps growing heavier, my energy waning. How would I ever make it to my destination? Suddenly, there was a brilliant flash of light—and a man materialized beside me. Stunned into silence, I gaped at Him while He smiled at me. This smile was the most genuine, kind smile I had ever seen. He spoke no words but simply placed a warm hand on my shoulder.

“I can’t make the journey; it’s too much for me.” I don’t know why I shared this, but something in me told me I could place my trust in Him. He gestured to my cloak, and I noticed deep scars on His hands. “This cloak? Oh, I need it.” He looked straight into my eyes, and I saw the depth of His love for me.

He held out His scarred hands and waited. Somehow I knew, without Him saying a word, that He would wait all day, all my life even. I knew that He would be here whenever I was ready. I pulled my cloak tighter around me and attempted another step, staggering under the weight.

Tears shone in His eyes, brighter than any gem. In His eyes, I saw my past, present, and future. I saw every mistake I had ever made and how I broke His heart time and again. In spite of all the times I had offended Him, I saw the end result: He died for me. Those nail scars on His hands were because of me.

Weeping, I fell to my knees and handed Him the heavy cloak. If He loves me enough to give His life for me and forgive all my offenses, the least I could do was give Him my life. “I don’t have much,” I whispered, “but I choose to give You my cloak of offenses. Help me fix my eyes on Your love instead.”

He pulled me to my feet and kept my hand in His. Together, we took a step. The air was still cold without my cloak, but His presence kept me warm. I was finally free. • Savannah Coleman 

• Many things can burden us. Our own sin can weigh us down and make moving forward seem impossible. We may feel like we don’t deserve the freedom and forgiveness Jesus offers. However, our perfect and humble Jesus loves us so much that He took our sin upon Himself when He died on the cross and rose from the grave (1 Peter 2:24). He freely gives mercy to all who believe in Him. Because of Jesus’s sacrifice, we don’t have to be overwhelmed in our sin; we can find hope in a restored relationship with Him. (More about this good news on our “Know Jesus” page.)

• Because we live in a broken world, we are affected by sin and brokenness—our own and other people’s. Their offenses to us, whether intentional or unintentional, can cause us pain. We might be hesitant to let go of these hurtful things, but if we know Jesus, His Spirit lives in us, so we can make the choice not to dwell on offenses. Because of Jesus’s love and forgiveness for us, we are called and equipped to love and forgive others (Ephesians 4:32). Consider taking some time to bring your burdens to Jesus, telling Him about the hurts you’ve experienced, confessing any sins that come to mind, and asking Him to bless the people who’ve offended you (Matthew 5:44).

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I [Jesus] will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 (NIV)