“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” Matthew 6:13
The hammer was in my hand. My friend waited for me to join in. I knew better than to do what I was about to do, but I went ahead and did it. After the first blow, it got easier…so much easier. I don’t know how many times I swung that hammer, bashing the car. But I did a pretty good job. You see, my friend’s dad had an old car, a 50’s car. If memory serves, it was a two-door Bel Air coupe. We smashed out all the windows, broke off the mirrors, generally just busted it up. That wasn’t a fun evening for any of us; being held accountable for our wrongs never is. You see, my friend’s dad loved that car. My friend had thought since it was old and since his dad yelled at it, he didn’t like it.
I know I’m not the only one who has experienced this sort of thing. I doubt hammers and classic cars were involved, but perhaps a different form of temptation. We knew it wasn’t a good thing, but we did it anyway. We stood there at the threshold where temptation turns into sin, and we stepped over it.
When I finally realized what I’d done, the hammer slipped and fell, and my heart fell to the soles of my feet. I didn’t understand the feeling back then because I was too young. But, in looking back, my soul was heavy, like lead. I couldn’t run as my feet bore the weight and they wouldn’t move. I knew what I’d done was wrong. Sin had broken my heart.
The heart figures greatly with repentance. If we come to God with a remorseful heart knowing we’ve done wrong, the weighty burden is lifted, and freedom returns. But if forgiveness-seeking isn’t genuine, coming from a broken heart, the prayers we utter are in our heads, not from our heart. Redemption, and the weight it releases, will be slow in coming.
Psalm 147:3 says “God heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” While these words were spoken regarding the Israelites, their God is our God. He still binds wounds and heals hearts of sin today. This understanding brings great joy! If these words resonate with you, spend a little time remembering times past when your heart was healed, and your wounds were bound.
By Rich Obrecht