When We Sin
She didn’t get to have her family visit recently at the recovery center because she lost her privileges, thus she wept during our Sunday morning worship time.
Now I’ve heard this many times over the years from the ladies, how consequences for breaking rules impacts their day. Which is no different for us.
So recently, I sat next to a girl, her eyes red with a river of tears flowing down her cheeks. She muttered, “I can’t believe I didn’t get to see them. I wanted to see my family.”
I held her hands. “So, what happened? What caused you to lose your visit?”
Her words fell like consonants and vowels hoping to skirt around the issue, to make light of her choices. I stopped her. “So, did you do something you shouldn’t have?”
“Yes, I did. I knew it was wrong. I did it.” Her hands went to her face, as she let go of my grip.
Looking at our Sin
Pushing her hands aside, I continued, “So, have you ever missed a gathering or appointment because you were using drugs? I mean, before you came to rehab? Have you disappointed your family before?”
She sucked in every bit of air in the room, her chest heaving with a giant exhale. “Oh, my goodness. I’ve missed Christmas. And birthdays. And family stuff. For years. I’ve done this to them so much. And now, I’ve done it again. They’re not going to think I’m changing.”
“But, have you changed? Is the person I see here in church the same person in private? Are you trusting God to guide you and asking Him for new desires?”
I reminded her of how Moses led a wandering people for some 40 years, who were often grumblers, often partakers the ‘why’ of that monstrous long trip in the wilderness. And yet, the Lord guided them to the promised land, but it did not come without struggles and upsets. Without lessons. And trials. The Lord layered his reaction to them with mercy and grace, again and again.
She shook her head, “What does that mean to me?”
Looking to Christ Who Forgives
“Well, in Joshua, the Lord told him to be strong and courageous. Not once, but several times. We can trust God for strength and for courage to do the right thing.”
“But, I keep making the same mistakes.”
“With God, you CAN be strong and courageous. And you don’t have to be frightened or dismayed. God is with you wherever you go. He knew you sinned the other day. He knew you’d struggle to own it. To learn from it. But you can seek His forgiveness.”
“But I’ve failed my family, again. I keep letting them down.”
“Then own this failure. Run to Christ. Seek Him. And stop spending time in the wilderness. No more wallowing. Let’s move ahead with Christ, and let Him guide your heart. Learn from this. Do the very next “right thing” with you walk and honor God.”
She hugged me with an embrace, whispering, “I blamed others for my losing the visit. But I was the reason my visit was taken away. I did this to them, and to me.”
Stop Practicing Sin
I then asked her if I might pray for her, and we wept together as I lifted her to the Lord, as we sought His forgiveness. For the change in her behavior will come, as she obeys the Lord. He’s the One who redeems and guides, and holds and corrects us. And often we’re like our old self as we move into our new walk with the Lord. It’s a daily walk, one step at a time.
I showed her this verse in 1 John 3:9: No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God.
Even when our walk is broken. When our song is gone. When we struggle. Please, let’s fight the good fight of faith. May we know He holds us through our trials. And may we run, and if we must, crawl to our Savior where healing flows from His heart to ours!