I have swept away your sins like a cloud. I have scattered your offenses like the morning mist. Oh, return to me, for I have paid the price to set you free. (Isaiah 44:22)
Relate: My best and worst race in cross country are one and the same. It is my worst race with regards to the time it took to finish it. It is my best race because it is the finish I am the proudest of.
You see, we were coming up a hill about a half-mile into the race when I stepped on a rock the wrong way. There is a big Latin word for what I tore but twenty years later I have no idea what it is. All I know is that I was in pain. A lot of it. I was still on the ground as the rest of the pack, and then the stragglers all passed me by.
Sitting there, I realized I had three choices: I could limp my way back to the starting line, I could stay and wait for help to come, or I could try and finish the race. Dumb as it sounds, I chose option three. For the next two and a half miles, every step with my right leg brought tears to my eyes. More than once it simply would not hold me and I fell again. Each time I would get back up and keep going. Some other teams had already left by the time I crossed that finish line. But I crossed that finish line. I spent the next three weeks hobbling around on crutches. But I finished that race.
React: Jesus paid the price for our sin when He went to the cross. We have been declared sinless in God’s sight. Maybe you stay perfect but I know that in spite of His grace and the power He has given me to live free, I have still fallen again. I’ve been busted by God and by others doing things I know I have no business doing. I’ve sinned.
When I do, when I have fallen, I know I have three choices: I can give up on my Christian walk, I can wallow in my guilt and my misery, or I can get up and finish the race. A righteous person is not someone who never falls. We all fall. A righteous person is someone who gets back up when they do fall. We have a race to run. Let’s not let the guilt and shame of past sins, from which God has already forgiven us, keep us from pursuing that glorious finish line.
I thank You for the cross. I thank You that by Your blood, I am forgiven. Help me to live forgiven. Like Adam and Eve, my desire when I sin is to run and hide from You. Help me to run instead straight to Your arms. When the stupidity of my own selfish desires cause me to fall again., help me to get back up and finish the race.