Lenten Devotional Day 23
Texts: Psalm 26:1-7, Gen. 44:1-18, 32-34, Mark 12:28-44, Luke 15:21
“And his son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you.’”
He came home for lunch like he does everyday; and from the look on his face, it must have been a long morning.
It was a Monday, and usually that’s injury enough. After his sandwich and a brief chat about what we had going on that evening, he said (with the slightest irritation in his voice), “So what’s going on with all the spray paint in the garage?” ALL the spray paint, I thought? You mean those one or two bottles right beside the bust I’m painting? But it took me a minute to get my words out because I was thinking maybe the girls had their own spray painting project going on that was adding to the spray paint extravaganza.
“Um, well, I was just painting a bust, that’s all. I’ll be done this afternoon.” “Yeah, well, I was just wondering because it’s a mess.”
I could hardly wait until he drove away so I could go investigate this spray painting “mess” as he called it. And besides, I’m a creative. Mess is what I do on the way to making something beautiful. He for one, should know this by now.
I walked out to the garage and saw my little bust of Aphrodite with two cans of spray paint lying empty on their sides and one can still standing at attention. I was baffled. This man has lived with me for 15 years and has seen more than his fair share of painting messes—WAY BIGGER messes than the one currently littering his garage.
Twenty minutes later, I got a text, “Please forgive me for my sorry attitude at lunch. Love you.”
Confession and forgiveness is the only way to survive marriage—the only way to truly survive life. And one thing I know about Stevie is that he’s quick to confess. I love that about him. Confession is about trusting the other person to receive you with grace, trusting them with the hardest parts of yourself.
Confession is not hard with God. He knows it all already. He forgives before we ask. He knows that our confession is feeble and fumbling and so like everything else in life. We borrow even that from Jesus, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”
The prodigal’s confession is short and is marked more by what he doesn’t say than what he says. He doesn’t make excuses. He doesn’t plead his case. He doesn’t make one concession for himself. He just confesses, with full trust in his father’s forgiveness. Confession is not actually about us, it’s about Him and His love— love that bids us lay all our sins at His feet.
Confess to your Father, without fear and without excuse. He forgives, every time, without fail. No matter how big the mess.
From my Lenten study—Click Here to Download