The True Confession of Carol:
I Am A Sinner Who Comes From a Long Line of Sinners
When we were worshiping in church last Sunday morning, I let go of something that had been troubling me. I forgave the imperfections in my parents that made them less than perfect in their parenting skills.
My parents did some things very well. Dad was an excellent provider who moved his family onto a five acre farm when he and Mom were young and we three children were very small (ages 2, 4, and 6). Dad not only worked at General Motors, often seven days a week, but he also designed and maintained a private haven upon our small acreage with rose bushes, large oaks, walnuts, maples, and evergreens, and fruit trees, a pond, and at times, various farm animals including a pony that frightened him. He grew a garden every year, giving away much of the produce.
Mom was his right hand girl. She canned, froze, dried, baked, milked, churned, gathered eggs, killed and fried chickens, scraped snow off the driveway - whatever was required to keep it all together. Mom was a stay-at-home mother who cooked “from scratch” three times a day. She got her children up, washed, fed, dressed and on the school bus five days a week, and she accompanied them to church on the seventh. She sewed many of our clothes, and she hauled us to music lessons weekly and anywhere else we needed to go, after a neighbor taught her to drive (when Dad’s impatient attempt failed). And, wow, how Mom loved my Dad, and vice-versa!
This is the simple truth: My parents were sinners. Not only were they sinners, but their mothers and fathers were sinners and all of our ancestors were, as well. In fact, I cannot name a relative on either side of my lineage who was not or is not a sinner.
This is my true confession: I am a sinner, too. As much as I desire to emulate the life of Christ, I know who I am, and I am not like Him. Only through the grace of God extended to me through Jesus’ death on the cross do I find purity and holiness in His sight. When I am honest, I must admit that, try as I might, I am not the perfect parent I hoped to be, either. I wonder if my children feel some of those same longings that, in reality, no parent or significant other is equipped to supply but our Creator, who stands ready to fill us when we open our deepest selves to Him?
In a sermon, our pastor recently asked us to answer these thought provoking questions: “Is it good to trust people all the time?” ,“Is there anyone you can trust all the time?”, “Can you trust yourself all the time?” I answered “no” to all three questions.
The apostle Paul said, “I have discovered this principle of life — that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 7:21-25)
The only One we can rely upon fully is our Redeemer.
Because of Christ’s life-sacrificing love, I and others who put our trust in Him have become children of the most High and Holy God. And, isn’t it His love example and His Spirit power that enable us to forgive others who have done things to cause us pain, whether intentional or non-intentional? What beautifully amazing truths these are for me and my family members who will be gathering at suppertime in heaven!
Will someone pass the biscuits, please?
Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin. For I recognize my rebellion; it haunts me day and night. Against you, and you alone, have I sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight. You will be proved right in what you say, and your judgment against me is just, for I was born a sinner - yes, from the moment my mother conceived me. But you desire honesty from the womb, teaching me wisdom even there. Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.(Psalm 51: 1-7)