2008-04-26 - Broken Bones
Lamentations 3:4, "He has broken my bones."
Have you ever broken a bone? It is a painful experience. The pain is constant, and it affects us when we are awake, and certainly, even when we try to sleep. We can't take our mind off the pain. It is constant. It even has an influence on those who are around us. They feel our pain also, but not in the same way. And while it is one thing to break a leg, rib, arm, or even finger, it is quite another to have a broken conscience. The sorrow of the serious injury of sin is not unlike having a broken bone. If fact, it can be much worse.
Sin also can lead to sleepless nights, and days of inner anguish. Sin causes us to lose our peace of mind - and our cheerful experience, of even the most mundane of things, can be taken from us. Sin makes us miserable, and let us be thankful that it is so. It makes our faith weak, like the broken bone makes our body weak. The encouraging word that might have brought comfort on another day gets lost or clouded in our minds and hearts, when sin has stolen our spiritual vitality. How kind the Holy Spirit is, never to let us fall into sin without smarting for it. It is His gracious working in our lives that keeps us from being indifferent to our failings. We ought to heed the calls of our conscience and turn from our wicked ways.
If we have lost our nearness to God through sin, it can be recovered. We do not need to despair of our spiritual broken bones. We turn to the Lord. There is forgiveness with Him. "But there is forgiveness with Thee, that Thou mayest be feared," Psalm 130:4. It is important for us to know that there is pardon and mercy for our crimes against God, and that is really what all sin is. It is a criminal act against the Ruler and Creator of this world, even of our lives. But He abundantly pardons all those who come to Him seeking forgiveness. He cleanses our conscience. He gives us new hearts, and takes our pricked hearts, and renews our spiritual strength. He heals our broken bones. As great as our sin may be, God's forgiveness, in Christ, is greater - and He is ever willing and able to forgive even the greatest sins we have committed. The gate of mercy is wide open. If our conscience is wounded from sin, our Lord can heal those wounds. This truth has often comforted many, and it can be a comfort to us also, when we find ourselves struggling with our sin. The Lord is "merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abundant in lovingkindness and truth," Psalm 86:15.
It is this kindness and mercy of the Lord that can cause us to turn sorrow over our sin, to rejoicing in his love us-ward. We have broken our bones, many times, but the Lord is ever willing and able to forgive and cleanse us from all our unrighteousness. Is your conscience accusing you? Seek the Lord. Come to him with all your failings, and the forgiveness you find in Christ will rise up above your sin, and lead you to a new appreciation and joy in Christ. Yes, we can rejoice in our falling short, when it brings us to our knees and deepens our dependence upon Christ's mercy. Our sins are lessons to us. Our conscience reminds us of the pain sin brings into our lives, and our repentance brings us anew into the joy of Christ. It is a wonder, but even in our failings, God is glorified when we turn from our wicked ways, and seek Christ afresh. Let this be our only gladness: Jesus Christ has taken our sin upon Himself, paid the debt that was our due, and not only offers us forgiveness, but also fellowship with Him, and the glorious experience of sin forgiven.
Soli Deo Gloria,