July 10 post left me forgiven but still confused. Here is #5
Broken and Restored,
Blog # 5 of How God Rescues Us From Our Messes
One of the members of my new church decided to “be my big sister.” She knew something of my struggles, and strongly recommended I go to a Basic Youth Conflicts Seminar. I did, and while there I heard words to this effect:
“When your heart breaks at the things that break God’s heart, that’s true repentance.”
While listening to the talks, I began to see attitudes in myself that I hadn’t realized I had. I was guilty of resentment, bitterness, selfishness, pride, and idolatry, besides the adultery. I’d always thought of myself as basically obedient to parents and to God. But now I noticed a subtle rebellion in my attitudes.
As I thought of God’s heart breaking over these sinful attitudes, my heart broke. I repented fully. I wanted a restored relationship with my Lord and Heavenly Father more than anything else. I also learned that God loved me in spite of my sin and, as Isaiah says, he was calling me back to himself. I was astounded by his mercy.
After returning home, I called my parents and asked them to forgive me for bad attitudes. They seemed surprised, but assured me “If there’s anything to forgive, of course, we forgive you.” They hadn’t known the things that were in my heart and mind. But I knew and God knew. However, calling them gave me a degree of peace of mind and improved our relationship..
I began to soak up scriptures like one dying of thirst. The book of Isaiah, especially, gave me hope. Isaiah 42:22 in the RSV gripped my heart, for I felt like one “robbed and plundered” and trapped. I began to believe maybe God does understand and care how I feel.
I grew to love the book of Isaiah as it showed me a merciful God who longed to rescue. Isaiah is called the evangelical prophet because he preached good news, and his mercy certainly was good news to me. As I read, I began to know the heart of God more intimately. He is not an angry God desiring to punish, but rather a loving Father, weeping over the estrangement of his children. He agonizes over the consequences his children must suffer as the result of their disobedience.
Isaiah’s inspired words helped me repent and grow into a deeper intimacy with God who forgave me and rescued me from the “pit” of sin. I became convinced God longs to restore us to fellowship with himself, to spiritual and emotional health. Then this became my prayer:
Dear Father, keep me in tune with you. You promised no one will snatch me out of your hand, but Satan is so sneaky. Don’t let him pull me away from your heart either. Hold me close to your heart, Lord. Let your wisdom always guide my mind that I will know what to do in every situation. My heart’s desire is to do your will—to never fail you again, never disappoint you again, never give a disgraceful slur to your name again. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Mercy is when God forgives us,
rescues us from the messes we’ve made,
and lovingly restores us.
Listen to this beautiful song:
Mercy Walked In, by Gordon Mote: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ShVKTFS4CSs
To Be Continued July 17th.