Last night I knelt at the feet of the Lord and asked Him to be present. I whispered to Him in my anguish over the relationships that had been affected by my selfish decisions. Immediately I heard nothing and closing to head for bed opened my bible and read of King Josiah (2 Kings 23). “Still nothing really,” I thought and went off to bed.
As I opened my email this morning I was drawn to an article sent to me. In it T. M. Moore, discussing the events in the Book of Ezra at the rebuilding of the temple after 70 years of Jewish captivity in Persia, writes, “Perhaps they (the Jews) also grieved over their own part in depriving themselves and the generations that would succeed them of the blessings of God’s covenant because of their own sins.”
“Now God is speaking,” I thought. I am grieving my past decisions just like the Jews. Those selfish decisions have each resulted in isolating those I loved not only from me and from each other. God revealed this clearly through the article; my sin has not only deprived me of God’s blessings (my children) but has deprived them of God’s promises. Now more depressed, I read on.
“That sorrow you know,”Moore continues, “you won’t know forever! That joy you are experiencing is chump change compared to the riches of rejoicing that are yet to be! Let us together grieve for our loss, and rejoice in our present blessings; but let us look with hope to the coming day of glory, when the Desire of All Nations will come and fill the world with glory and rejoicing such as we cannot even begin to imagine!”
Now in full relationship with the Father through Jesus Christ and filled with the Holy Spirit, I have joy in the midst of this sorrow for the mess I have made. God takes us through things that are not always pleasing to Him because they are painful to us. However, I am learning the more we trust God in all things the more we will see the miracles that he has in store for those who call Him Father.
When a non-believer looks at the bible or considers the Christianity, he or she in many cases get hung up on the so-called “rules.” I hear, “I don’t want to obey, I don’t want to be told what I can and cannot do!” “I want to be free to express myself, I want, I want…” Selfishness, you see rules in our hearts from birth. But God is not interested in being a harsh rule maker or task master; I believe He like any father wants the best for His children. However, unlike all human fathers, He has the benefit of knowing the end of all things.
When I made selfish decisions he knew that I would be on my knees in anguish over the results yesterday. He didn’t set parameters for my life then that were restrictive, he only gave me Fatherly advice so that I would not have to come to him in sorrow over my sinful mistakes. But, being the merciful Father that he is, he has not left me in this pit of despair. Rather he has picked me up wrapped me in His arms and said, “I make all things new!” (Rev 21:5)
Again, T. M. Moore: “We need to take up the challenge of bringing the full range of affections into our lives as followers of Jesus Christ. Knowing that the heart is deceitful and desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9), we cannot leave our affections to chart their own course. Nor must we embrace such an insipid and idiotic idea as that God wants us to be happy above all else. God wants us to be obedient, and obedience to the Lord involves hating and weeping over our sins, mourning and grieving with those who suffer loss, rejoicing over even the smallest of daily blessings, gladly and eagerly taking up our daily callings from the Lord, and hoping to encounter Him in His glory in the quiet moments of solitude, meditation, and prayer, so that we can be transformed into the image of Jesus Christ and live to His glory in even the most familiar and mundane areas of our lives (Romans 5:1,2; 2 Corinthians 3:12-18; 1 Corinthians 10:31).”
My prayer. Father, to those who have been affected by my sinfulness, I am sorry and wish it could be different. However, Praise God, because what I have destroyed, You can make new. Father help undo what I have done. Repair the damage of broken hearts and isolation from you. Restore what has been lost. Forgive me and continue to strengthen me as I realize that the sorrow of today will not always be with me. Thank you for the blessings of children and families. Unite us again with you bond of love that can never be broken or destroyed. In Jesus name, I pray.