Friday, May 19, 2017
Come and listen, all you who fear God, and I will tell you what he did for me. For I cried out to him for help, praising him as I spoke. If I had not confessed the sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. But God did listen! He paid attention to my prayer. Praise God, who did not ignore my prayer or withdraw his unfailing love from me. Psalm 66:16-20(NLT)
Any parent who has stayed up into the wee hours of Christmas Eve assembling something that Santa brought which has 46 pages of instructions on where to put bolts numbered A-16 through Q-97, knows the feeling of wanting to tell Santa to forget the whole thing.
I remember one such Yuletide; it was around 3AM when bolt Q-97 was finally in place. I plugged the monstrosity in, and, to my extreme surprise, the behemoth toy worked just as advertised. I remember sinking back into my chair and wondering what I was going to do with all that extra time, because, unlike every other Christmas where I would have to pull it all apart to see why it wouldn’t work, this time I was ready; I wanted to shout hallelujah!
As I laid my head on the pillow, the glorious feeling of mission accomplished brought a smug pride to my being. It was then I remembered that, for once in my Christmas Eve assembly career, I had actually followed every step in the 46-page instruction manual. It dawned on me that I couldn’t claim credit for this success; all I could do was give thanks for a manufacturer who actually cared that a kid would get a working toy instead of my usual crumpled mess. What a revelation: following the instructions actually works!
The Psalmist found out that this principle also is valid in our relationship with God. Psalm 66 is a hallel, a worship song that is sung to give praise to God, and instructions to God’s people. In this song we are told to wrap our minds around a simple process – when you’ve sinned, don’t hold it in…let it out in confession to God.
That…my dear Christmas toy-assembling friend…is the right place for bolt Q-97…and anything else that keeps you from walking with God today.
If you want to feel like shouting hallelujah the door to the confessional is always open.