Recently, I “fell.” I do not mean a physical, step out of the shower, plant my foot on a Thomas the Train toy left inexplicably in the middle of the bathroom floor-type fall. (Although that would hurt, and it may or may not have happened to me in the past.)
But falling is usually accidental. Not many times does someone knowingly trip themselves up. Running directly toward stumbling blocks and trip-wires. That’s what I did.
A train wreck happened to my family, and I was driving the engine.
The “Me” that was….died. The "Me" that I crafted for everyone to see.
So, maybe I didn’t fall. I sabotaged myself. I think of old “Gilligan’s Island” episodes where they would set an elaborate trap involving a net attached to a tree or something to capture whatever random guest star is on the island that could eventually get them home. Predictably, Gilligan would end up running over the tripping mechanism, whatever that was, and he would be caught in his own trap. I did that.
But I did it with full awareness that I was walking into the trap. Over and over.
What I did specifically is not the point…
Let’s just say that if I were on Jerry Springer, everyone would boo and hiss me to high heaven.
Or, if I were a character in a horror movie, you would hope that I would be the first to die a horrible, gory death. And you would smile while it happened.
That’s the kind of grotesque sin I committed.
Knowingly. No excuses.
Furthermore, it has done tremendous damage to my family’s finances, our plans for the future, and to my relationships with hundreds of people. The Bible says that a good name (reputation) is better than riches, gold, silver, etc. I am discovering now what the exact opposite of that is. For years, I have labored to have a good reputation with everyone. Now, I find myself with a circle of acquaintances that number less than 20 people. I am making less money now than I did fresh out of college. I feel trapped in my own city, always looking to avoid people who know me.
Or maybe I was/am "sick." Look at the first words of Jesus quoted below.
While getting counsel for my situation, a godly man challenged me to read John 11. When I saw what the story was, I almost didn’t read it. I know the story: man dies, Jesus shows up, man lives. Big deal.
Then I decided to read it. Really read it.
For the purpose of keeping this shorter than a book, I will just quote some of the words of Christ in this passage:"This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it."
"Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I go to awaken him."
"Your brother will rise again."
"I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.”
"Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?"
"Unbind him, and let him go."
I wept when I read this. It gives me goose-bumps today.
For those who may read this, YES, I have repented. True Repentance. I accept that God has forgiven me. I don’t understand it all, but I trust in it by faith.
Even a simple person like me can look at the words of our Savior in this story alone and write for weeks…months…years about the awe-inspiring grace Father has shown us. I am sure I will cover that in future posts.
More on this later.