The first casualties of upheaval can be love, kindness, and patience. But crisis is also a moment when love for God & one another can spring up. For 150 days, starting on 17th March 2020, I will write 300 words based on one of the 150 psalms in the bible. How can I find and give love in the midst of coronavirus?
I blew it. I really blew it. As I look back over my life, there are a few moments where I wish I could go back and change what I did or I said. I want to travel back in time, have a chat to myself and plead with him to do it differently. But it ain’t going to happen. What’s done is done, we all know that.
And so I carry regret. I carry guilt. I carry shame. I can feel myself squirming inside when I remember those moments.
As so many people have been forced to pause in this moment. Forced to get off the treadmill for a few weeks. Thoughts can turn to where is our life going, and where has it been. What is the remedy if we are plagued by guilt and regrets? Let’s read some of Psalm 51
3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. 4 Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge. 5 Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
King David is back – after a couple of weeks of the sons of Korah writing the Psalms. David feels so guilty. What he has done is bad, really bad (check out the story in 2Samuel 11) – and he knows it. These verses are him describing how sinful and guilty he feels. He has sinned against God, and he describes it in the strongest terms.
He even says he was sinful at birth. Now a lot of words have been written about verse 5 and the idea of original sin. But I think David is simply saying that he feels so guilty, so sinful – that it seems that he’s been sinning since he was in the womb. David has really blown it.
But, and it’s a big but, it doesn’t end there. He feels maximum guilt – but then encounters extraordinary cleansing. Let’s read on:
7 Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. 8 Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. 9 Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. 10 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. 11 Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
He cries out for complete cleansing. God, forgive. God clean me. God, purify my heart. God, restore to me joy and a spirit that wants to obey you.
This is the remedy. Come to God with the maximum honesty. Confess your sin. Acknowledge that you have blown it – may be many times. And then ask for complete forgiveness and cleansing. Ask God to take away the guilt and the shame. Ask Him to put right what you did wrong. But do not sit on your guilt – it needs to be dealt with. And through our repentance, and the incredible grace of Jesus this is possible.
Have a blessed day. Love Matt