Jul
13

A Personal Inventory

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God’s been giving me some personal inventory-taking time.  I feel as if I stepped out of a private meeting to talk to you.  In his epistle, James talked about the danger of stepping before a mirror and then looking away, forgetting your own image.  My last two days have been one, long look.

Where can I turn when what I see in the mirror of God's Word seems to condemn me?

Where can I turn when what I see in the mirror of God's Word reminds me of my sin?

This has involved some crying and regretting, facing loneliness and lost time and opportunities.  It also calls for the application of Scripture, because without it, we feel even more guilty and blame filled.  We tend to forget that where we stand,

there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. – Romans 8:1 & 2

The things we’ve done wrong seem so, well, intractable.

Very little has gone well for me in a long time.  It is easy to wonder if I am cursed, if blessings and success will ever come.  My run of sorry events has its roots in my marriage and divorce twenty years later.  While I don’t want to encourage undue superstition about opening the Bible randomly, yesterday I opened to the exact page of 1 Corinthians that concerns marriage, chapter 7.  The verses that describe my situation are :

A wife must not separate from her husband.  But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. – 1 Corinthians 7:10b – 11a

It does not say, “and she will live a cursed life,” or “and the Lord will punish her forever.”  The natural consequences of pulling apart a 20 year marriage with 2 children are heavy, whether or not you are a Christian.   My husband has remarried, so there is only one option for me, and it comes with its own burdens.  I believe God had me read that passage again to show me He is not laying on top of this that I must live in continued guilt and sadness, or that He then ceased to love me, or that nothing will go right for me anymore.

I have the tendency to remember my bad decisions, my reversals of fortune, the friendships that withered from close fellowship to becoming odd and strained.  I have to remember that some things have in fact gone well.  My son nearly died on June 8, but we were able to get him back from (literally) the brink.  (I’m going to be writing about that later.)  I’m still in my house.  I have met some people who have helped me immensely to do what I needed to have done.  My church has been greatly supportive.  My daughter has done fabulously at school.  In crucial ways God has met my needs.  Just because I haven’t experienced solutions in some areas that greatly concern me, mainly financial, doesn’t mean God abandoned me in all my ways.

These days are like a retreat, where I am taking time to pray and systematically put my sins under Jesus’ blood and my prayer requests in God’s hands.  I’m just making sure that’s where they are, because that’s where they belong.

Then I acknowledged my sin to You and did not cover up my iniquity.  I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord” –

And You forgave the guilt of my sin.

Psalm 32:5

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