Jun 23, 2013

Help! I've fallen and broken my... Eden.

 She sits in a cell, broken and alone.  The cell is small and dark.  There is silence outside the door, and a voice whispering through a grate in the wall.  "You deserve to suffer."

She isn't crying, she sits facing the wall silently and wraps her arms around herself, as though to protect herself from her unseen accuser.  Again the whisper,  "You messed this up, big time.  You don't deserve happiness. You should just give up."

She slowly rubs her arms, as the fear and shame wrap themselves around her heart.  The whispers turn to taunts, "You murderer! You adulteress! You thief!  You ruined everything.  You are a lost cause.  You are lost.  Alone.  Forgotten.  Abandoned.  Worthless.  Despicable.  A disgrace.  You would be better off dead."

Her hands have found her ears and she is trying to block the noise.  Her eyes close tightly and she begins to rock slightly with the cadence of the words.  The voice seems to be coming from inside her, she can't stop the taunts, her lips unconsciously form the words as though she is singing along. 

Suddenly a warmth floods the cell from behind her.  A light shines into the darkness.  A new voice, strong and commanding fills the small room, "Enough! She is mine, my daughter, my jewel.  She is beautiful, priceless, the apple of my eye. Shut-up!"
She is me, and she is Eve.   She is the woman at the well, the woman caught in adultery, or the "immoral" woman.  Have you ever had a moment in your life where you suddenly realized that you NEEDED forgiveness and grace?   You realized that you had messed up "royally" and you were in a place where you needed someone else to forgive you?  How did it feel?

We all make mistakes.  Every single one of us.  We all, at some point, say the wrong thing, or forget a coffee date, or heaven forbid, say something that hurts someone we care about.  For some of us {me}, it happens monthly weekly almost daily. 

Have you ever made a choice that had huge consequences?  Not just a little social flub, but a game-changing, ground-shaking, life-altering choice?

Me either.  I was just wondering.

Of course, I'm kidding.  These sins, though all sins are "equal in the eyes of God", have the potential to put us in bondage.   Genesis 3:8 points out that sin like this might cause us to try to "hide" from God (as well as from other Christians).  Once we are in bondage, we get to sit and listen to the Father of lies spew lies at us about our identity.  The good news is that just because we are sinners doesn't change how God sees us.

{Shoot, I've gone and given away the ending}
 Titus 3:3-7 says "We used to be stupid, disobedient, and foolish, as well as slaves of all sorts of desires and pleasures. We were evil and jealous. Everyone hated us, and we hated everyone. God our Savior showed us how good and kind he is. He saved us because of his mercy, and not because of any good things that we have done. God washed us by the power of the Holy Spirit. He gave us new birth and a fresh  beginning. God sent Jesus Christ our Savior to give us his Spirit. Jesus treated us much better than we deserve. He made us acceptable to God and gave us the hope of eternal life."
Did you catch what that scripture said?!  That we can think about our sin in past-tense and that God saved us because of His mercy.  Not because we proved that we were "worth" it, but because he Love us.  "He made us acceptable to God."  What an amazing promise and encouragement!

These last few months have been life changing for me.  I made a choice (a series of choices) that had some life-altering consequences.  However, the Love of Christ is redeeming me every single day.  My husband is loving me with a love that looks and feels like the love of God, and as he loves me, I am learning to receive the love and acceptance of God.  I am experiencing the unforced rhythms of God's grace and mercy.

I have confidence that this is true for you as well.  I don't know you or your choices.  I don't know how far away you are from the loving embrace of God.  I don't know your story or how you are lost, or have been found, or perhaps are in the process, like myself, of being redeemed.   But I believe that if this resonated with you, that you are supposed to be reading this post. 

I believe that God is standing outside of your small and dark cell, telling the accuser to shut-up.  I believe that He is waiting patiently for you to turn around a discover that the door of the cell is open, as it has always been open, and for you to remember who you are in Him.

Like in Genesis 3:9 "Then He called out... and asked 'Where are you?'"  He is wondering where you are, and wants you to be found in Him, you just have to stop hiding.

Like Eve, I've fallen and I've broken my Eden.  I could blame the snake or I can accept that I have the potential to make incredibly bad, selfish, destructive choices that can destroy my life and those lives around me, and suck it up and lean heavily on the grace of God to rescue me from myself.  

What about you? Where are you this morning?  Are you allowing sin to keep you locked up in a dark, small and lonely cell?  Are you trying to close your ears to the taunts of the accuser?  Are you hiding in some bushes, hoping the Lord passes you by?

He isn't mad at you!  He wants you to be found!

Come out, Come out, where-ever you are!  
Come out and be loved!  Come out and be forgiven!

Last night, in church, the worship team sang a song called "Furious".  I had never heard it before, and it is absolutely perfect for this topic.  Take a moment to listen and read the lyrics, you will be glad you did!

Blessings on you this morning!  From one sinner to another, I pray that God will find you in your hiding spots and shine His light in your darkness.

Furious by Jeremy Riddle

Nothing can tear us from the grip of His mighty love
We’ve only glimpsed, His vast affection
Heard whispers of, His heart and passion
It’s pouring out…

His love is deep, His love is wide and it covers us
His love is fierce, His love is strong. It is furious
His love is sweet, His love is wild and it's waking hearts to life

The Father loves and sends His son
The Son lays down His life for all
He lavishes His love upon us
He calls us now, His sons and daughters
He’s reaching out…
… and its waking hearts to life
He is waking hearts to life
He is waking hearts to life

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