Thank you to all those who reached out to encourage me after my “Hard Lessons” post. Honestly, by the time I wrote my blog, I was very clear that I was cleansed and forgiven. The pain and regret I feel is first and foremost, the pain of disappointing the One I love SO MUCH; secondly, that someone else was now suffering as a result of my sin (because my prayers, for a time, were rendered ineffective and the enemy came in and attacked them); and thirdly, that I am now suffering loss of something that I was likely on the verge of seeing come to fruition, that the long waiting was about to be over – but now it and the battle goes on. So much to trade for such a stupid, momentary “easy way out” decision. But I have learned so much – about spiritual warfare and how much He really is serious when He says, “Be holy because I AM holy.” I still believe God has factored all into His plan and timing – that my lesson will be learned and my mistake redeemed. But it is still painful, as well it should be, because that remorse and regret is what drives me to NEVER go there again!
Several years ago, I finally found a plan that worked for me to help me read through the Bible every year. It always amazes me how wherever I am in my reading (even when I’ve gotten off my schedule) is relevant for me that day. Today (while watching the incredible power and rhythm of the ocean waves), I read Psalm 19 and it provided a perfect exclamation mark to what I have learned in this experience. It is interesting to look at this Psalm and at first wonder, “What in the world does the first part have to do with the second part?” But what David is saying, is that there are laws that God has put in place that govern the universe (have you ever pondered the fact that all the universe, nature, animals and creation obey God’s laws – we are the only ones given the free will to choose not to) and that the wise person will allow God’s laws to govern their heart and life, bringing order and blessing to them and glory to God, just as the universe following its laws brings order, blessing and glory to God. I hope this Psalm and my story will encourage you to choose to follow the laws that bring life (I’ve included the last verse frequently in my prayers for many years):
PSALM 19 (The Book)
The heavens tell of the glory of God. The skies display his marvelous craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make Him known. They speak without a sound or word; their voice is silent in the skies; yet their message has gone out to all the earth, and their words to all the world.
The sun lives in the heavens where God placed it. It bursts forth like a radiant bridegroom after his wedding. It rejoices like a great athlete eager to run the race. The sun rises at one end of the heavens and follows its course to the other end. Nothing can hide from its heat.
The instructions of the Lord are perfect, reviving the soul. The decrees of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The commandments of the Lord are right, bringing joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are clear, giving insight to life. Reverence for the Lord is pure, lasting forever. The laws of the Lord are true; each one is fair. They are more desirable than gold, even the finest gold. They are sweeter than honey, even honey dripping from the comb. They are a warning to those who hear them; there is great reward for those who obey them.
How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart? Cleanse me from these hidden faults. Keep me from deliberate sins! Don’t let them control me. Then I will be free of guilt and innocent of great sin.
May the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.