When my son, Aaron was two and a half years old, I noticed a change in his attitude and behavior. My days previously, up to this point, were chasing him around laughing and playing. But each day now consisted of constant correction- to my own frustration. I am not perfect. It was painful.
One hot, summer day in July I had set him in his room, closed the door and told him he needed to stay in there until his attitude changed. He screamed and kicked the door. I slid down a wall crying next to my wood stove begging and pleading with God asking Him to reveal to me and what the problem was, why was this happening. This was the first time I heard the audible voice of God “Guilt produces more sin, Lori”. What??? I had never heard that before.
Little did I know the Spirit of Wisdom that visited me with His presence years earlier in the dark had just given me a nugget to hold onto for the remainder of Aaron’s life. I jumped off the floor, stopped crying and went in to his room. He stopped screaming as I asked him to come sit in my lap. “Aaron, God just told me you feel bad about something”. “Yes”, he said hanging his head. Now you have my attention, boy! “What did you do?”. “I hit Nonan (Lauren)”.
Understanding my small understanding of the grace of God I mustered every creative idea I could think of. I grabbed a basket and piece of paper and a pencil. I asked him what made him feel bad and what he had done. He rattled off various things (some I was not aware of) and I began writing every one down on little pieces of paper. I was amazed at how much he was able to comprehend, almost like we were having an adult conversation. I made a game of folding up each paper and throwing it into a small, wicker basket. I brought him into the living room and set the basket with his “sins” of paper on top of the wood stove. He was curious and thought I was playing a game. I had him sit down on his little stool and asked him “Aaron, do you believe that God will forgive you for what you feel bad about?” He looked down and said “yes”. I sat down on the floor next to his stool and reached out for his hand. I wanted to perform a symbolic act for my almost-3-year-old. I said “Aaron, I am going to help you pray and ask the Lord to forgive you, ok?” He giggled and was ready and willing to play the game. As he grabbed my hand, I began to lead him …..”God please forgive me”…..If ever I saw my first “SUDDENLY” of an awesome sign and wonder- this was it!
A sudden rushing sound of a mighty wind blew over that wood stove. The stove was not in use, it was July. I opened up my eyes and in my own unbelief gasped! “Mommy you see that? Look what God do!!”, said Aaron. I was shocked that the Almighty God showed His awesome hand to a little boy who was struggling. All of the papers I had placed in the basket were gone, gone! From that point forward, he began to dance, run and play again. I was in awe! I didn’t know then the necessity of a visual, symbolic act of forgiveness would be so significant for his teenage years that he would need to lean on and remember it years later.
Are you struggling with sin to the point that it has become bondage to you? Are you struggling in sin more and more because of guilt? Have you walked away from the Lord and now feel lost, unable to return? There is forgiveness through the blood of Jesus. And God wants to reveal sins to show what is holding you back from His great, awesome plan.
Repentance is a GIFT, not a thing to dread. The gift is the very thing revealed by a Holy God for the sake of walking freely before Him and moving in the right direction alongside of Him.
Aaron experienced freedom that day and his joy returned. He was again free to run and play. Are you missing the freedom of smelling the flowers, seeing the sunshine and enjoying all of life and hearing the sweet, quiet voice of God? Ask for the Gift of repentance unashamedly and without fear. Weeping may endure for a night, but JOY comes in the morning.