Few burdens are so heavy as the guilt of unconfessed sin. Can you think of a time your sun was extinguished by the clouds of secret sin? The loneliness of feeling yourself guilty, condemned, a prisoner in a cell of your own fashioning? Turn one way and you feel rock; turn another and there is nothing but stone. No one hears your cries. You are all alone.
Confession, Part 2
When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long . . . I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover up my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin.
Watch Week Two, Day Four
a rock and a hard place
Evans Monsignac knows something about being caught between a rock and a hard place. He was a poor vendor selling rice and oil in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, in January 2010 when his world came tumbling down. “As soon as I finished selling the last batch of rice the earthquake happened,” he later told a Telegraph reporter. “Suddenly things were just flying all over and flattening me. I said ‘Oh Lord, I’m dying.’ I tried to turn to the right, but I was pinned down by rock, I tried to turn to the left, I was pinned down with rock. It was dark all the time. Every time I came out of consciousness I prayed, I prayed that God would rescue me, give me life.” For the next twenty-seven days he survived by sipping sewage leaking through the shattered slabs of concrete. When a rescuer finally discovered Monsignac, he was dehydrated, babbling incoherently, and had lost sixty pounds. He is believed to be the world’s longest-lasting earthquake survivor.
Monsignac’s experience surviving the earthquake paints a vivid picture of what we feel when hiding our sin. If we feel like an earthquake has shattered the world around us—if we feel like slabs of concrete have compressed our shoulders—it may be time to reflect on whether the weight comes from unconfessed sin. King David referred to his guilt as the hand of God crushing his bones, sapping his strength as in the heat of summer (Psalm 32).
choosing to see god's grace
In the depths of our sin and guilt, confession can seem like the last thing we want to do. The hardness and deceitfulness of sin can make us feel we’d rather chew glass than bring our sin into the light. Sin blinds us to the grace of God. We’d rather sip sewage seeping through the cracks than turn to the fountain of life. But the only way to remove our crushing guilt is to turn to the Lord and cry out to Him in confession and repentance. The moment we do, God moves heaven and earth to lift the guilt from our shoulders and bring us out into sunlight and renewed joy.
Because Jesus took the weight of the world’s sin onto His shoulders, we can be free. Because He endured the psychological pain of feeling forsaken by God, we can be restored to relationship with our heavenly Father who promises never to leave us or forsake us. We can return to the land of the living, no matter how significantly our sin measures on the Richter scale.
Evans Monsignac could barely recall his rescue. “The only thing I can remember is thinking ‘I’m free, I’m not dying,’” he told a reporter. His miraculous rescue showed him that nothing is impossible with God. “Those who are sick should have the courage to live and pray to God,” he said. “And those who are healthy need to cherish their life and to pray.”
Just as rescuers lifted Evans Monsignac from the rubble of an earthquake, we too are freed from the burden of guilt through confession. The very thing we thought might kill us—confessing our sins—in fact brings us joy and peace. It makes us see the goodness of God’s ways and helps us say like Evans Monsignac, “I’m free, I’m not dying.”
How have you experienced the freedom of confession in your life?
Sign Up for Enjoying Jesus Emails
get the daily devotionals delivered to your email every morning