When God saved me from my sin, it was dramatic. Tears of gratitude followed the sobs of repentance. I could barely grasp the power of God and witnessed God pick me up, clean me up, put a new song in my heart – past shouts of pain were now present shouts of praise. My God had released me from my prison of self-will. I was alive for the first time, and nothing could drag me back to the soul-torturing darkness – no one but myself.
It was innocent enough. What could walking to the edge of sin do to me? But in a few short unguarded hours there I was, huddled in a room with friends who I'd witnessed to of God's power, now caving to the temptation to indulge in the substance that had ravaged my life, my soul.
There was a short rush of satisfaction, but waves of darkness soon engulfed me – I had slipped into the clutches of evil. I barged out of that place hating myself as I hit the door. I stumbled to my home with no life in my legs and no hope in my heart. Shame was crushing me with all the force of thousands of mocking demons. I wanted to die because my only thought was "how can I live?" – there appeared to be no way back.
My friend was there when I awoke. He looked at me without condemnation. There was not even a hint of disappointment, just eyes that were alive. He spoke words of hope and told me that God still loved me. I struggled to believe but a force was calling out to me – a comeback was in the making.
It was to be the last time I'd fail God in that way. But there have been other times when I've had to cry out to God and say, "bring me back." He's never turned me away, and that love has solidified in my heart that God's love is greater than our sin can ever be – no matter how big or small our fall.
The lessons I've learned passing from darkness into light are much like King David's. David knew soul-crushing shame. He stumbled into sin with a woman who wasn't his to take. David heaped up more sin to cover his tracks by murdering a good man named Uriah. He may have thought he got away with a big one. But he didn't because God's grace isn't cheap and God's love demands the truth. There was a cost for that sin because all sin costs us something. He must have asked the same questions we've all asked about God's patience, wondering if we're forever hopeless or if we can make a full comeback. But grace came rushing into David, and it's calling out to you. Hear this: You can come back! Not because of your ability to change but because of God's persistent love.
So I invite you into your pain even a little more deeply. Follow the path of David, myself and anyone else who dares to admit they need a comeback. From Psalm 51...
I praise God for you and I celebrate your courage. Enter into the joy and abundant life of honoring God, walking close with Jesus, and being filled with the Holy Spirit.
Hello, Karl here. I invite you to visit 180 Chicago Church. We're a church that meets in person, online, and in homes around Chicagoland. If you want to be part of a dynamic and diverse church, intent on making disciples, then check us out at 180chicago.church