January 12, 2011
Yesterday, I was covered with disgust and guilt for something I chose to do. I knew it would not lead me to anything good but I still did it. I sinned.
I found myself lost that night. I was just staring at the mirror, searching for something in the dark spot at the center of my eyes. It seemed as though I was looking at a stranger. It was not me. It was not the child who calls unto her Father. It was not the servant who lives to please the Master. It was not the one who seeks God.
I went to bed terrified. My body was shuddering. Beside me was my Bible. I did not touch it; I could not even look at it. I closed my eyes as I uttered a prayer.
When I woke up this morning, everything seemed strangely new. I looked at the sun through the small window on the roof and felt an odd sense of peace. Then I remembered what happened last night. I have not yet talked to God about that. I got up and opened my Bible. I found Genesis 3, The Fall of Man. It talks about how Adam and Eve sinned when they ate the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which God had forbidden. Upon eating the fruit, their eyes were opened and Adam and Eve realized that they were naked. Out of shame, they sewed leaves to cover their bodies. The story continues in the following verses.
“Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord called to the man, “Where are you?’’1
I was struck with the last sentence. The Lord called to the man, “Where are you?”
Wasn’t it Adam and Eve who sinned? Who were supposed to be looking for the Lord and calling to Him for forgiveness? But they did not. They kept silent and hid. It was GOD who searched for them. Then when the Lord found Adam and Eve, the fruit of sin was revealed at once.
Then he (God) said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate it.”2
Look at what sin did to the man and his wife. When asked by the Lord of what happened, Adam pointed to Eve. When asked by God of what she did, Eve pointed to the serpent. It’s as if Adam were reasoning, “It’s that woman’s fault.” As if Eve were claiming, “It’s that serpent’s fault.” Alright, everyone else is to blame. All except you, Adam. All except you, Eve. Is that so?
The most important words were those said last by the man and the woman—and I ate it. This was all what God was waiting to hear. Was it so hard for Adam and for Eve to admit what they did? Was it that hard to say, “Yes, I ate the fruit. Yes, I disobeyed You.”
Was it that hard for me to say last night, “Yes Lord, I did it. I sinned.”
This is what keeps us from the Lord–our pride and unwillingness to admit that we sinned. It’s not because we are not capable to come to God. Neither it is because we are not knowledgeable to confess what we did. It’s because we are not willing to do so. We don’t want to be exposed sinful. We don’t want to be looked at with shame. We don’t want to be blamed despite our fault.
It’s not because of inability or because of ignorance that we do not admit, “I ate it.” It’s because of refusal.
You refuse to tell your mom that you broke the vase. You refuse to admit that you cheated in the exam. You refuse to confess that you watched porn. You refuse to acknowledge that you had been a disrespectful child. I refuse to confess to God that I sinned.
Refusal to come to the Lord paralyzes us. We refuse to accept our weaknesses. We refuse to acknowledge that we gave in to temptation. We refuse to humble ourselves before the Lord, confess our sins, and ask for forgiveness. But as much as we refuse to do these things, our God deeply desires to look for us, listen, and grant us forgiveness.
Think about this. In The Fall of Man, there was no need for God to look for Adam and Eve and hear their explanation. It was not He who did something wrong. It was not He who sinned. Yet it was God who first looked for and approached the guilty. His love for Adam and Eve was so deep that it was He who came to them. God probably thought, “Don’t worry, Adam. It’s alright, Eve. I know what you feel. I understand what happened. If you don’t want to come to me, let me come and look for you. I want to see you and listen to you because I love you.”
Maybe, God thought and felt the same thing last night. “Stop crying, Anne. Stop blaming yourself. Are you afraid? Let me embrace you. I am just here. Tell me what happened and I’ll listen. I am your Father and friend, am I not?”
I may never comprehend the immeasurable love God has for me and for each of us. There is no other love that understands the limits of our minds. No other love that accepts the flaws of our hearts. No other love that already grants us forgiveness even when we have not asked it yet.
Friends, let us not cause God any more pain and longing. Just drop our pride, accept the blame, and say, “God, I did it. Forgive me.” We can be sure that our sins will be forgiven and no longer be remembered. May we always have this desire to come to the Lord and trust His unfailing grace.
Let no sin, no justification, no pride separate us from the Lord and His love. We need not fear. We can have faith that God loves us fully regardless of what we are–whether we are at our best or at our worst.
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8: 38-39 (NIV)
1 Genesis 3: 8-9
2 Genesis 3: 11a