Tuesday, June 1, 2021

The Hidden Rotten

 The discovery was not a pleasant one. Something that will go down in Edwards folklore for years to come. Turner looked for a menu we thought was in a back pocket of one of the two front seats in our Yukon. He did not find a menu but did make another discovery. One we all regretted. 

He found a rotten taquito wrapped in a plastic bag. The taquito had a bite taken out of it. The rest of it had turned green. Turner opened the bag and the rancid smell permeated the air, penetrated our nostrils, and turned our stomachs at the same time. If you have ever cleaned vomit, you have a good representation of what that partially rotten taquito smelled like. 

We finally ascertained when it had been left in that seat pocket. Months ago. We had no clue it lay hidden and rotting. It remained hidden for months. The rancid smell was self contained in the plastic bag. Once it was exposed it could no longer be ignored. 

Isn't that just like sin. It takes root in our hearts, souls and minds. Sometimes we do not even realize it has buried itself. We may forget it is there altogether. Then one day it surfaces. The rotten, foul, stench brings conviction from the Holy Spirit. 

There we stand face to face with the hidden rotten sin in our lives. We face a decision. Do we try to conceal the sin from others and keep up our religious appearance? Do we choose repentance and restoration with the Lord? 

Sadly, many try to conceal it. Afraid to be exposed. They lie to others and God. Many have dirty rotten sins they hate but cannot get free from. Like a foot caught in a bear trap, they are unable to free themselves. They pray. The pledge never to fall into the same sin again. They recommit. They fail and the whole cycle repeats itself. They are trapped. 

They are like the prodigal son. They have wandered from the faith and holiness. All seems fine for awhile. Until the hidden rotten rancid smell of sin eventually services. 

In those moments, we need to be reminded of some important truths. God loves and is willing to cast our sins as far as the east is from the west. Ps 103:12. It is His kindness that leads us to repentance. Rom 2:3-5. If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us all unrighteousness. I Jn 1:9. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1. He offers forgiveness, restoration, and freedom for those who will take it. 

When Turner opened that bag, I pulled over in a parking lot  and told him get out and find a trash can. I wanted that out of the vehicle. We should feel the same way about sin. We should want to get rid of it. We should want it gone. To be rid of it. To be free from it. 

Sin is not something to play around with. God desires truth in the hidden part of our lives. See Psalm 51. Truth in the parts we do not want anyone to have access. God wants to clean house. To sweep the corners. Once the rotten taquito was removed from the vehicle the stench soon faded. 

We can give off a stench too. Not of body odor. Rotten attitudes. Half hearted devotion. Lackluster service. Hypocrisy hiding authentic relationship with God. All give off a foul stench to those around us. We may be nose blind to it spiritually. It may be more evident and even repulsive to others.  It is time to remove hidden rotten sin from our lives. 

Friday, May 28, 2021

I Do Not Understand

 I do not understand all Your purposes and ways,

Why there are so many painful saturated days, 

I cannot comprehend all the sickness and disease, 

While others live pain free lives of relative ease, 

Questions go unanswered leaving people discontent, 

Grappling with life issues the mind cannot orient, 

Oppressive burdens weigh heavy pushing sheep down, 

The weight sinks and many feel their faith will drown, 

While You remain silent seemingly for suffering alone, 

While You hold all the power seated on Your throne, 

I dare not judge You mighty God with feeble mind, 

Answers that are beyond understanding I can't find, 

Instead I come like a little helpless broken lad, 

Needing comfort and reassurance from my Dad, 

Father, You are bigger than piercing searing pain, 

You are still shelter when I'm drenched by life's rain, 

In Your presence is delight and reason to rejoice, 

In faith and praise I continue to lift up my voice, 

I trust You in life's hours of pitch black darkness, 

I trust in the grip of life's unrelenting harshness, 

I may never fully be able to totally understand, 

Ways that higher and greater than I comprehend, 

You have earned the right to be trusted and believed,

So I press on in faith that You long ago conceived,

Trudging through these endless times of trials, 

 Your love for me is  reason for endless smiles.