I don’t exactly delight in giving God my junk. For some strange reason, and I think perhaps I’m not alone in this, it seems preferable to hold it all in than to give my worst to a God I know to be vastly good and pure.
Why in the world would I dare to think He wants my exposed sin, my guttural cries of disgust and pain? It seems ironic at best.
Yet, it’s what David did. A man after God’s own heart. A man who sinned in atrocious ways and quite honestly, if I met him today I’d probably have a whole lot angst for the way he treated women and how he caused a man to die. Somehow God saw beyond his actions and into his heart. He used the prophet Nathan to expose the ugliness inside. (2 Samuel 12) David repented in sorrow. Some say Psalm 32:3-5 reveals David’s acknowledgment of being convicted by God while his sin was still hidden.
For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away
through my groaning all day long.
For day and night your hand was heavy upon me;
my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah
I acknowledged my sin to you,
and I did not cover my iniquity;
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,”
and you forgave the iniquity of my sin.
Repeatedly in the scriptures, David pours out his heart to the Lord. He releases his anguish and pleads with God about the circumstances he was in. He also turns his heart back to God repeatedly. He chooses to actively praise Him and remind himself of where is hope comes from.
When we hide our sins, we continue to perpetuate destructiveness in our hearts and souls, which ultimately affects those around us. God calls us out of hiding, out of debilitating shame, and into a light filled place of repentance and mercy.
David confessed his sin of adultery and, I would argue, rape. (Bathsheba would not have had a choice to deny the king.) He confessed his sin of murder. These heinous acts would cause any one of us to hide in darkness with the lie of it being safer and better. Rather, he let it out. He gave his cries of confession and sought the Lord.
David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die. Nevertheless, because by this deed you have utterly scorned the Lord, the child who is born to you shall die.” II Samuel 12: 13-14
What did David receive in return? Though he suffered the consequences of his sin through the death of his son, he also received forgiveness and mercy. We see a glimpse of it in these verses, but far more of God’s grace is seen throughout the pages of scripture.
God’s plan to use David in the overarching story of redemption was not thwarted by David’s horrendous sin. Amazing, isn’t it?
Had David’s sin remain unconfessed, he would have continued in inner turmoil. Instead, he received God’s love even through he had to live through painful circumstances first.
Our unconfessed sin becomes like festering wounds inside our heart which eat away at us. When we give these to the Lord, he gives us healing balm and a renewed heart.
Choose to receive.
Receive the grace and mercy God offers each and every day.
Do you have unconfessed sin rotting and causing you to stay stuck? Are you afraid to let it out? Do you think it would better if no one knew?
Ugh, this is hard isn’t it? Those lies we’ve told, the way we treated someone the other day, and the bitter and resentful feelings we harbor inside, if we don’t give them up we’ll allow weeds to choke out the well-lived life we’re trying to cultivate.
Giving our mess to God is worth the beauty He holds out for us in return.
Can I tell you what we’ll receive when we choose to become aware, to accept the truth of sin’s presence or the reality of a situation, to confess, and to give it over to the Lord?
A lighter heart.
Release from the things which weigh a life down and keep us from living well.
Restored relationship with God.
You know what else? It’s not just in giving our sin to Christ which makes room to receive from God. We are frequently offered glimpses of God’s glory and his presence in our every day, even in the midst of crazy hard storms. We need to choose to receive them.
When my pastor spoke words of hope and encouragement, renaming me in the process, I couldn’t fully comprehend but I received. He said God was calling me Brightness, even though I was smack dab in the midst of immense pain, grief, and depression. I couldn’t yet understand what those words meant for me, but I chose to receive them and let them permeate my heart and soul for years. They continue to do so.
Where might you see what God has for you today? What might you receive?
Maybe it’s a smile someone gives you, or the way they look you in your eyes, and it gives you a momentary reminder of what it’s like to be seen. Maybe it’s a hug, a text, a gift, or an invite from another which reminds you of what it’s like to be known and loved. Or maybe, it’s a fun-filled day, the laughter of a child, or a silly video and you remember the value of happiness as a part of God’s holiness. (as Jennifer Dukes Lee iterates in The Happiness Dare).
It could even be the light shining behind clouds which reminds you of a great and good God working behind the scenes in ways you can’t fathom.
God has much of himself to offer. His strength. His provision. His timing. His power. His peace. His presence.
Let us choose today to receive with open hands.
CULTIVATE: What is God offering to you today, be it big or small, which you choose to receive?
Your brave answers might be the encouragement another needs.
[tweetthis twitter_handles=”@theJoleneU”]Giving our mess to God is worth the beauty He holds out for us in return. #livewell[/tweetthis]
[tweetthis twitter_handles=”@theJoleneU”]I choose to give God my brokenness and receive his beauty. #livewell[/tweetthis]
[tweetthis twitter_handles=”@theJoleneU”]I choose to give God my sin and receive his forgiveness and love. #livewell[/tweetthis]
[tweetthis twitter_handles=”@theJoleneU”]I choose to give God my hurt and receive his healing. #livewell[/tweetthis]
[tweetthis twitter_handles=”@theJoleneU”]I choose to give God my confusion and receive His clarity. #livewell[/tweetthis]
[tweetthis twitter_handles=”@theJoleneU”]Today, I choose to give God my worst (pain,sin,fear) in exchange for his best. #livewell #grace[/tweetthis]