The weight of a single boulder or a sack full of stones, a thousand pound load is still a thousand pound load.
The burden of one sin or a compilation of many, the stress and levy taken on both body and spirit is dramatic.
David’s sinful act with another man’s wife placed him under a burden that drained his spirit, sabotaged his body and forced him to his knees. (Psalm 51) This Psalm follows that confession.
I think there are times when I forget the exacting price that sin takes on my body as well as my spirit. It was not long after turning the proverbial corner in my spiritual journey, that my wife said to me “it’s like this load has been lifted off your shoulders”. In some sense that is true. I had spent so much time convincing myself of my own alienated position to God, that I didn’t realize what it was doing to me physically and emotionally. Even now, I find myself somewhat restrained and tentative — Cautious that I might be overlooking something.
I want to let go and sing with the psalmist; Happy, happy, happy “…are those whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.” (v1)
I want to be glad, rejoice, and shout for joy because “…steadfast love surrounds those who trust in the LORD”. (v.10-11)
Father, thank you for your protective hand during my dark days; thank you for your steadfast love that found its ultimate expression in Christ; thank you that there is therefore now no condemnation for those that are in Christ Jesus!
Those times, that I call my “dark days”, were intriguing times for me emotionally. Physically, I was in the best shape of my life during much of that time. As long as I had my cycling and my work, I could do a decent job of camouflaging the rest of what was going on. When it came to a point where I could not ride any more is when things spiraled out of control. I fell apart physically, my depression worsened, the daily headaches that I had been experiencing for years were vengeful. It was chaos. Every day was like its own nightmare.
After a period, you learn to adjust. That abnormal life becomes normal. As I explained to one of my counselors, “I don’t understand what normal is. I wouldn’t know it if it slapped me in the face.”
There are miles in between all of this that gets me where I am today. Here is what I want to say about those miles. God kept a hedge about me for which I will be forever grateful. Yes, I sinned. My transgressions were many and varied. However, each time I found myself attempting to cross that “hedge” I knew it. In other words, my internal moral compass had not been broken. It still worked! Now to many that may seem like no big deal. But to me, that spoke volumes! It meant that I had not lost touch. That there was a point of reference; a lighthouse on the shore; a safe harbor somewhere. I was not abandoned or alone.
Of course, the outcome of all of that is this – where I am today. Cautiously optimistic, yet courageous in my outlook.