"Lord, if you kept a record of our sins,
Who, O Lord, could ever survive?
But you offer forgiveness,
That we might learn to fear you"
At this particular time I have in my circle of friends many who are very ill. Some with cancer, one with diabetes, one recovery from a terrible car accident and others. I call upon God regularly to ask for healing for all I know who are suffering.
Recently, another person with an illness, came to my attention. Let's call her Amanda. Because of several disturbing encounters with Amanda I was struggling to pray for her in a sincere way. I quietly asked God to change my heart. Immediately (and it doesn't always happen this way) I believe God gave me a picture of Amanda's behaviors and failures and a realization that it was an outward depiction of my inner, hidden, secret sins; those of thought, attitude and motive. My carefully hidden sins are no less offensive to God. When exposed they are no less offensive even to me. I lacked compassion for Amanda because she hadn't been able to pull off the righteous facade. The vivid picture of my sins superimposed on Amanda's outward behavior broke my heart.
By giving me the picture of my own sin, I can have love and compassion for Amanda. And now I can confess my sins and call upon God for healing for Amanda and mercy for us all.
"No one is righteous-
not even one.
No one is truly wise;
no one is seeking god.
All have turned away;
all have become useless.
No one does good
not a single one."
(see Psalm 14 and 53)
Our hope is in Christ alone. With great rejoicing: "And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ." Philippians 1:6 (ESV)