This morning I sat by my cell phone in anticipation of two calls... one from my son who is spending the week in FL with his grandparents (Oh, I miss him so! And he just texted saying he would call after a dip in the pool - hooray!), and the other from my parents. You see, this morning my parents were at the court building awaiting the arraignment hearing of the one who broken into and robbed their house earlier this month. By late morning I was out running errands and still had not heard anything, so I decided to drive by the court building since it was actually on my way home. As I passed by, I saw my parents just walking out... perfect timing!
Their faces were solemn. As I rolled down my window and questioned what happened, tears filled their eyes. I saw the compassion of Jesus Christ this morning... broken over sin and it's devastation. My mom shared that as the handcuffed young man walked into the court room, she couldn't even bear it and had to look away. Her merciful heart was breaking for him! My Dad was later questioned by the court and said nothing... and being speechless is not a norm for my dad. After the arraignment, the officer allowed my Dad a moment with the criminal. It was a moment of forgiveness asked and granted... a moment or wisdom and direction for the young man... and a promise to stand by as he went through the next processes for this crime and the others he had committed. He was again handcuffed and then back on his way to prison.
I was later talking with Mark about how God was working on my heart through this. This young man has bought the lies of the enemy who had come to steal, kill, and destroy. But things aren't always like that. As a boy I am sure he had dreams of being a baseball player or a paramedic like his Daddy. No where in there did he hope to become a drug addict who would then become a thief to support his habit. So what happened? Where did his boyhood dreams go?
I remember during chapel service in school, my dear principal, Mr. B would often talk about the "little foxes." So many times in life we let just a little sin slip in... just a tad of gossip, a small white lie, a hurtful word, just a little immorality. We justify, cast blame, ignore and press on as if nothing happened. I am sure the first time this young man was asked to "just try it" he knew that just a few years down the road he would be handcuffed, facing a judge and 20 years in prison, he may have said, "No." But the deceiver blinds us to what a little sin can do. I am sure if my other friend knew that she would one day be in a doctor's office waiting to find out the results of her surgery to see if she had cancer and how bad it was, she would have never had premarital sex and contracted the STD HPV. Stories of looking back can go on and on!
But there are two other directions to look...
What little foxes are we allowing in our life right now? What sin are we accepting or tolerating? My prayer is that we immediately go to our amazing Savior who freely grants the forgiveness of sin and ask Him to reveal any sin and to forgive us of it. But let's not stop there... ask Him to help us to truly repent and turn from the sin! Also, is there someone in your life who is stuck in sin... do they need help, encouragement, mercy or compassion? Do they need tough love? Ask the Lord how He wants to use you in their life.
We can't change the past, the sin we have committed, the wrong choices we have made... but as my Pastor said, "We're not dead yet!" We still have life ahead of us to accept God's best in our choices and His plan for our lives. We need to look forward to living for Christ... with ALL our hearts, soul, mind, and strength - completely sold out for HIM!
Don't let Satan come to steal, kill, or destroy... don't let the deceiver blind you to what sin really does. There's a Savior who died for YOU! To SAVE!
"Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14