My life has been full of ups and downs, like a ship sailing on the open sea sometimes the storms seemed as if they would never end. Anyone ever sailed that ship? One minute it is as if all is going smoothly and calmly; the next it is as if a raging storm came out of nowhere.
I have been shattered, smashed, broken and reduced to rubble. Most of my disastrous times have been created by my own disobedience.
Tonight, as I was having a conversation about God’s Word with one of my favorite people, my grandma, we were talking about sin and continuing on the path of sin.
When I was a young preteen, I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior. However, as I came into my teen years my life quickly turned into rebellion. Rebellion against what you may be asking. Rebellion against God.
Rebellion against God and His standards or the way He wants us to live is a sin.
You see, I was not a bad person, so to say. By the world’s standard, I was probably pretty good. Following my heart, Following my instincts and following what made me happy. Isn’t that what we are told to do?
But often times, I felt a conviction and emptiness in my soul that I couldn’t run from. No matter how much I did or how far I ran, my soul was truly in agony. I tried every way I could to escape the feeling but in many ways, I was being convicted by the Holy Spirit.
I continued down that path until I came to the point where I just flat out ignored anything that was condemning my guilty soul.
David describes this agony in Psalm 32:3-4. He says: When I refused to confess my sin, my body wasted away, and I groaned all day long. Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat.
The Lord’s hand was heavy upon me and when I pressed back I just got lower and lower. I believe one of my lowest points was being curled up on a bathroom floor crying out, “I am a good person.”
The problem with my thinking was I thought I deserved better because I was “good”. The truth was, I deserved what and where I was. The choice to continually rebel against God and never confess any one of my sins to Him landed me at the bottom of a dark pit.
I was stubborn. I thought only I could possibly know what was best for my life.
Until I came to the point when I realized this way of life was no longer for me. Until I cried out to the Lord to rescue me from this path I had chosen, I felt the heaviness of my sin. I felt the burden of my choices.
Until I came to my Lord with all my broken pieces and confessed my sins, was He able to begin to restore me. David says in Psalm 51:17: The sacrifice pleasing to God is a broken spirit. God, You will not despise a broken and humbled heart.
I love those moments when God humbles a stubborn heart. The moment you realize there is no other way.
I love to look back on the times, I was lifted up, not by my own strength but by God’s amazing grace.
From the bottom of the wreckage that I created in my life, that sometimes seemed to have no way out, was a Father waiting with open arms. Willingly waiting to receive me into His loving arms.
Today, I stand humbly before my God, asking Him to establish my footsteps in His Word (Psalm 119:133) because His Word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path (119:105).
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Through seeking forgiveness and the blood of Jesus Christ, I am redeemed. My sins have been paid for on the cross and they have been washed as white as snow.
Because of His grace and mercy, I am compelled to share what He has done for me and in my life. I don’t have to live in the past. I don’t have to let my past define me today. I am defined by a gracious and loving Father who has made me new and has made His own.
Because of Him, I have hope in this life that I could get in no one and nothing else. My God-sized emptiness is now filled with hope. Hope and deliverance from my past, hope for my present life and hope for my future!
We put our hope in the Lord.
He is our help and our shield.
In Him, our hearts rejoice,
For we trust His holy name.
Let your unfailing love surround us, LORD,
For our hope is in you alone.