Friday, January 11, 2019

I Don't Have A Problem!

Mom: “What did that nurse say about me going home?”
Me: “You mean you didn’t hear her??? You acted like you did.”
Mom: “Well, these dumb hearing aids keep chiming; the batteries need changed again!”
Me: “Mom, you need to tell the doctors and nurses you are having trouble hearing. Otherwise, they assume you hear just fine.”
Mom (with chin up and arms crossed): “I do hear just fine!”

Conversations similar to this one, are very common with my 86-year-old mother. The last few years she has experienced drastic hearing loss. Hearing aids help, but only to a certain degree—and only if the batteries are fresh. Otherwise, they act more like stuffing cotton in her ears, muffling the little hearing she does have left.

Mom gets very perturbed at us when we even hint that she isn’t hearing well. I don’t think she realizes just how bad her hearing is, or that it is out of concern for her that we keep asking about it. She consistently denies the problem.

Sadly, when it comes to matters of the Spirit, I can be just like my mom. I sometimes don’t realize how bad the problem is. And even when it is gently pointed out to me, I deny it.

Like the time I looked over the shoulder of a lady with whom I was “discussing” a situation and found Dick grimacing while giving me the “Cut-throat” sign to stop. After the lady left, Dick told me I bordered on rude with her. I denied it—until later when God showed me Dick was absolutely right and I needed to admit my sinful attitude.

Until we acknowledge a problem, it can’t be remedied. Proverbs 15: 31-32 says, “If you pay attention when you are corrected, you are wise. If you refuse to learn, you are hurting yourself.”

Until we confess a sin, it will fester. Proverbs 28:13 tells us “He who conceals his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them will find mercy.”

David voices wisdom we need to learn: “Then I confessed my sins to you; I did not conceal my wrongdoings. I decided to confess them to you, and you forgave all my sins.” (Psalm 32:5)

When we have a spiritual problem moldering, 1 John 1:9 reminds us that, if we confess our sins, God will forgive them and cleanse us from all wrongdoing. Let's start addressing the sins we struggle with instead of turning a deaf ear to the warning bells God rings along the way.

Be encouraged!

©2018 Pamela D. Williams

Friday, January 4, 2019

Getting Out the Stain

I thought the travel cup was empty. I found out differently when I tried to open the car door with it in my hand. The cup tilted over and coffee ran down my hand into my sleeve, staining my white shirt.

I was on my way to a party at my sister’s house and had stopped to pick up my mom. I quickly ran into mom’s and tried blotting out the coffee with some dish soap, water, and a tea towel. I finally gave up, thinking I could just wash it when I got home.

Later that evening, when I took the shirt out of the washing machine and examined the sleeve, the stain was still noticeable. Thankfully, because it was white, I could soak it in some bleach and it was good as new.

Verses one and two of Psalm 51 speak of removing another kind of stain—the stain of sin in our lives.
“Blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
And cleanse me from my sin.”

Sin is a stain we can’t remove on our own. Just like my efforts to remove the coffee stains from my shirt required something stronger—bleach, sin requires more than our own feeble attempts to “make things right”, to “wipe the slate clean”. God must intervene. And He has. When His Son, Jesus died on the cross, it was in payment for our forgiveness; it is the solution that removes our sin. 1 John 1:7 and 9 tell us that the blood of Jesus washes us clean and purifies us from all unrighteousness.

As we begin a new year, many of us are wishing we could wipe away past wrongs and failures, and promising to improve situations and circumstances in our lives. If we want a fresh start, God offers us the best resolution—put our faith in Jesus as our Savior and Deliverer from sin. It’s a great way to start this new year—with a new life lead by God.

Be encouraged!

©2018 Pamela D. Williams