“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he [God] is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
“‘Come now, let us reason together,’ says the LORD. ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” (Isaiah 1:18)
I sat there in my car, all alone, at the Mt. Anne trailhead at Condominium Creek. I felt bad, and I felt guilty…..because I was guilty.
As I replayed that afternoon in my mind, I shuddered at how I had let anger grip me and how I had lashed out in my words and actions toward my husband and daughter. I felt so bad; they had done nothing to deserve such treatment. I was the one who was completely in the wrong. I felt like the Psalmist, “…my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see. They are more than the hairs of my head, and my heart fails within me” (Psalm 40:12).
However, I knew the Scripture that, “If we confess our sins, he [God] is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). This great truth and promise of God gave me hope as I sat there contrite over my sin. I knew that as soon as I confessed, God would forgive me.
“Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight…Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place. Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow…Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me…The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” (Psalm 51:1-4, 6-7, 10, 17)
As I confessed my sin to God, all the guilt, all the tension, all the agitation, all the heaviness evaporated away. I knew Jesus had died on the cross to pay the punishment for my sins, and in him I placed my trust. (See “Message” on how to receive forgiveness and be reconciled to God).
As I sat there confessing my sins, the floodgates of heaven suddenly opened up and pummelled the dry, hot land with heavy rain.
When toward the end of my prayer it finally stopped, I cautiously emerged from my car and headed up the trailhead, camera in hand, for it was near sunset. I had been bushwalking earlier that day, so I was covered in dirt and grime, but as the water-laden bushes and grasses brushed up against me, they scrubbed me clean.
About fifteen minutes up the track I turned around to see this beautiful sight!
The dark, heavy rain clouds had brought the cleansing rain. Now they were breaking apart to reveal the glorious light of the sun. I felt it was a natural metaphor for me, perhaps even heaven-sent.
I planted my tripod in the middle of the dripping, white flowers–again another metaphor of cleansing, purity and forgiveness–and shot this beautiful scene.
This photo is particularly special to me because it always reminds me of God’s grace and forgiveness, which is always there and readily available to anyone who will penitently receive it.
“Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the LORD does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit. When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. Selah. Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the LORD’–and you forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah. Therefore let everyone who is godly pray to you while you may be found…” (Psalm 32:1-6)
(See also, “Message”, “Where Sin Abounds, Grace Abounds All The More” (Believer’s Road Series); “Empty Hands” (Believer’s Road Series); “Unworthy, But That’s The Grace of God” (Believer’s Road Series), “Depths of Grace” (Believer’s Road Series) and “At The Foot of The Cross–Forgiven” (Believer’s Road Series 2)).