I live up on a mountain. When the rains come, the fog follows along, sometimes dense, sometimes light. Visibility becomes difficult as I inch my way along the street towards home. Sometimes the drive is scary, at best, as the thickness of the fog is great. Finding the street that leads to my drive becomes a challenge.
Once the rain subsides the fog dissipates to clear, crisp fresh air, a washing to the earth around me. I can’t get over the clearness of the blue skies after a rain. Everything appears to be washed anew.
Life in this spiritual world has been that for me. For many years a veil of religion blanketed my life making visibility difficult, at best. All I knew was what I had been told. I’m coming to find out that what I was told often wasn’t what was real about the God I have known.
Moments in life come that lift the fog of poor theology, revealing the depth of the riches of God’s amazing grace. Such was the case a few days ago.
I had been told for as long as I could remember that God couldn’t hear me if I had sin in my heart. I remember the days that I agonized with fear of the possibly I had missed something. It was especially critical when I had a big decision to make. I wanted to talk to God and I wanted to make certain He heard me. I couldn’t run the risk of not hearing His voice and making the wrong choice. I was fixated on every move I had made, hoping that I would remember everything.
As I sat to consider, my mind played through the days that had passed. I went as far back as my mind would take me, considering my every step, my every word. I confessed until I couldn’t think of anything else. I even re-confessed things I’d already asked forgiveness for, just in case. It felt like a noose around my neck, dragging me into the pits of despair. What if I missed one?
I needed for God to hear me. I wanted to be in His will on the decision before me. If He couldn’t hear me then I would be left to myself. Of course it would be my own fault. After all had I not sinned in the first place, I wouldn’t be in this predicament of wracking my brain.
Those ways of religion beat me up and kept me down for too many years. But now, the veil is lifting and I can see.
I often have epiphanies in the midst of loving my own. I sat with the question. Would I be that way with my child? Never, no not ever. No matter what my child had done, I would never turn my back. Love will not allow me to do that and I am made in the image of the God who is love. Some would argue that the holiness of God will not allow Him to look on sin. That just doesn’t match up to His character displayed throughout the pages of scripture.
It leaves me to wonder how, in this economy of Christ following, did we become so sin focused? Where did the teachers and scribes lose sight of the picture of God? He sent His son to redeem us from sin, to pay the cost, to bridge the gap. Why would He stand back and wait for us to get it all right in order to be present? After all it’s why Jesus died, to bridge the gap, to open the door, to be the way for man to be restored.
While I was still a sinner, Christ died for me. That verse in itself disputes the false teaching that God cannot hear my voice when sin is present in my life.
When Jesus said “it is finished” it was. All that sin had done was atoned for, past, present and future. All sin was forgiven. The veil in the temple was torn in two, opening the way for all to enter in and be in the presence of God, forever.
Suddenly everything was different. It was no longer about my sin. It is about a God who loved so fiercely that He sent His son to bring me back home where I belong.