He was dealing with me recently when I had revelation concerning Sin in my life—and a revelation concerning a serious problem area.
Let me use an illustration to explain. Ken and I live in an agricultural area. Some years the crops are harder to harvest than others. This year farmers haven’t been hampered by rain or flooding, but the moisture content is still high. A neighbor told Ken that many farmers are mowing (swathing) their grain first and letting it dry in rows before they combine. I took a picture of this small field of swathed barley because I thought it especially beautiful.
Through circumstances and His Word God showed me I was similar to this year's grain. I had unwanted moisture—i.e., unresolved conflicts—concerning my mother.
Mom had polio as a young wife before I was born, and I can’t remember her having either physical strength or stamina. I resented her fragility—and I resented feeling responsible for her.
She died in an automobile accident during my first year of college. That’s when I learned how much I loved her.
Rather than mourn my loss—and rather than dealing with the guilt I felt because of my resentments—I rationalized. I told myself my attitude had been normal. I was, after all, just a teenage kid. And to comfort myself when missing her, I rationalized her death as a blessing because her life was tough at the end. In other words, I excused my guilt, and I accepted death as a solution. This seemed helpful at the time, but it interfered with God’s harvest in my life.
God dealt with guilt when I fell apart after seeing an iron lung at the State Fair. Mind you, this was 50 years after the fact, but after I wrote and posted about it, I recognized my sin. When I confessed, He changed both my conscious mind and my inner being. I was somehow set free from unresolved conflicts that day. Truly, God hasn't stopped dealing with me because I'm growing older.
Two weeks later Ken and I attended a conference. On Saturday morning I awoke knowing a terrible truth. I knew there had been emotional ripples throughout my life because I had rationalized a false comfort. For example, because I accepted death as a solution, if my children were sick when they were young I was often overcome by fear that they would die.
And because I accepted death as a solution, I often thought of death as a possibility when faced with difficult circumstances—or when someone did something particularly troublesome. Of course, I knew this was wrong. Jesus said, If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment. But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! (Mt. 5:21,22 NLT)
Nevertheless, I couldn’t stop the thoughts. I’d confess, I’d ask God to help me, and sometimes I did the unthinkable—I’d give in to them. All the while, I knew God loved me and that I loved Him. I knew the power of His Blood was bigger than my sin. And I knew I couldn’t win this battle myself.
On the Saturday morning of the conference, with new insight, I understood that Satan had established a stronghold in my mind when I accepted death as a solution. I felt impressed to tell Ken about the revelation. And one day, feeling God was calling me, I secluded myself and read the book of Isaiah. Moments after finishing God reminded me of a familiar New Testament verse: The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. (Jn. 10:10 RSV)
Strange when the familiar comes alive in a different context. Death cannot be God’s solution because Jesus is Life. He came to give Himself and His Life. How had I missed this?
When God illuminates His Word, things happen. I knew that although all will die because we live in a fallen world, and although Christians experience ultimate victory in their death, Mom’s death was a tragic accident—not a solution.
When I confessed that I’d received a lie and relied upon it for false comfort, and when I accepted a new revelation of Jesus as Life, I was altered. I can’t explain how it happened. I only know God did it. The stronghold is gone.
I took another picture of the field today.
The unwanted moisture—along with my unresolved conflict—has dried up and the farmer has harvested his grain. The field looks bare. I admit I feel bare, too. Kinda naked.
I also feel wonderfully clean.