Have you ever had a time in your life where every Bible verse you read seems to echo in your mind? This happens to me pretty often. It’s like that old Sunday School trick where you open the Bible randomly, close your eyes and point on the page – God always has something specific to tell you in the verse right under your fingertip.
Sometimes it’s not just every verse that applies. It’s every blog post, every image, every song heard that screams at us to focus on God at that point in life. To turn to him. To get back on the path.
Usually this happens during a place of suffering. Whether tangible or nebulous, warranted or unexpected, self-imposed or involuntary, we struggle in life. And we have to get a grip on the struggling to move on. When we feel the weight of life – and often, our own sins – acutely, it’s like a smothering coat, one not easily removed.
We come across those words, those images, those melodies, and at once we realize that we are being stifled. We become impatient to shed our heaviness.
But sometimes, instead of shedding it, we cover it up with a heavier coat. We rationalize our behavior. We shift blame. We point outward instead of inward. Or we continue in our behavior, pretending that we haven’t done anything wrong, ignoring the problem and kicking it further down the road.
It’s hard to face responsibility. We get stuck in patterns of behavior that are difficult to change. We don’t even know how to change them, we are so entrenched. So we go on, acting as if we haven’t done anything wrong, not aware that our heavy coat is keeping us from moving forward and experiencing the warmth of the sun on our shoulders.
When I am weighed down by sin, I search my brain for lessons I’ve learned. What past experiences are similar to this one? What did I do to get through it? Sometimes, I am still wearing a particular coat I thought I had shed and I work to undo the fasteners before moving onto the next layer. It might be a way of thinking left over from an old set of beliefs. It could be that I haven’t really been aware of how I’ve been living lately, and it’s hardly godly.
Sometimes it’s hard to distinguish what I have learned from who I have become. I need God’s clarity to know what to do, what to focus on, how to proceed. My life is in his hands. I trust him to put me back on the path, to shine the light on my face.
But first, I need to get rid of that coat.
Dear Lord, forgive me today of my sins. They are many. Please help me to see clearly my next steps, and give me the wisdom to see your path. Thank you, Amen.