And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. – Ephesians 3:17-19
I thought I should start us off on a positive note. Today and over the past week since the last step study very fascinating events have occurred in my life. I cannot decide whether to share them tonight or perhaps wait for a while or just keep it to my small groups. Why should the whole world know my sin, except for to know if Jesus can forgive and change a heart as black as mine, He can save anyone!
I started out with a verse about the depth and height and width and breath of the love of God because today was about the depth of my own depravity. It is pretty deep, but the love of my God is deeper.
I did not commit some outwardly atrocious sin today to the best of my knowledge. I did confess to two of them. One much bigger than the other. If we were to measure the biggest one, it is a sin only I could know because it was in my heart for 30 years and one day. Well, actually there has been evidence of a change of heart over the last month and possibly stretched to the last few months, but real realized evidence of it happened on the day after my 30th birthday. After the step study closed, I looked up at the girls and told them; but I did not tell them it was the first time. I just told them it happened.
If I was to measure the outward sin tonight, it would be considerably smaller in my eyes. I think in God’s eyes, too. It at least hurt less people.
Confessing and talking and praying with one of my dearest friends this afternoon, I opened a door to a new level of freedom. In my life that means processing another layer of denial, guilt and shame. Right now there is weird mix of emotions running through me. Horror at the idea of beginning to speak of this more frequently. The idea of sharing it in small group or step study makes me cringe, which means I will more than likely be sharing it from a stage within two to three weeks.
I would not share such things. But if people do not know who I was, how will they know who He is? What He can do?
The other emotion I am experiencing is overwhelming thankfulness. I walked home from my friend’s house singing about the blood of Jesus. The whole way. If God can soften my heart, He can save anyone.
Today I watched a testimony shared at a CR conference, and I had a comparison trap thought. Whoa, but I have not had that happen to me! This woman’s mess is out of my league! We are not even in the same genre.
Now I thought those “I am better-ish, cleaner-ish than you” thoughts about the pain she experienced, not the sin she committed. Tonight as I look back at what I faced today, I am out of her league. Not because of the sin committed against me, but because of the sin I committed. We will journey together, sister; and one day we will praise Him forever together. That sin caused great pain. For us, but even more so for Him.
About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”). – Matthew 27:46