September 7, 2013
Pastor Tim Throckmorton
Isn’t it funny how conversations can take a turn for the worst? I mean one minute you’re sipping coffee and talking with friends and the next you’re reduced to a puddle of embarrassment. Happens all the time I guess, it’s just not a bit fun when it happens to you. Some years back at a Denominational Board meeting there I was, chatting with colleagues and friends when a then fairly new acquaintance, let’s call him Charlie, well, because that’s his real name. “No names in this column have been changed to protect the innocent or guilty, including me!”
So there I was connecting and networking when the topic of Charlie’s career came up. “So you used to work for AT& T,”I said,.
“Sure did,” Charlie replied.
“Funny,” I said. “We used to have an AT&T cable running across our property when I was growing up.”
“Really, where did you live?” Charlie inquired.
“Well I come from the McDermott, Ohio area, Waddell Road to be exact.”
Charlie exclaimed, “I remember that property well, in fact,” Charlie continued, “I always had a tough time keeping the cable warning signs up there, kids were always shooting them down!”
It was also at that moment that the blood began to rush to my face and as everyone watched me grow silent and my face turn a beautiful shade of rosy red. It began to dawn on old Charlie about the same time…
“That was you wasn’t it?” he asked.
I don’t remember who laughed the hardest, Charlie or my friends, but I wasn’t amused. In fact, I was caught with a coffee in my hand and a 22 rifle in my memory. The jig was up, after all these years my childhood sharp shooting spree had caught up with me.
Charlie still gets a laugh remembering that day. And yes, even I can laugh about it now, but then it was a little embarrassing. But remembering that day reminds me that the scriptures clearly tell us that our sins will find us out. I had indeed long since forgotten my childhood antics. But what about more serious issues, what about going through life without seeking Christ’s forgiveness and then standing before the Lord and remembering them then? Or worse yet, trying to hide something from the Lord. It’s as hopeless a cause as the man who came in late trying to hide his drinking from his wife. The husband snuck up the stairs quietly. He looked in the bathroom mirror and bandaged the bumps and bruises he’d received in a fight earlier that night. He then proceeded to climb into bed, smiling at the thought that he’d pulled one over on his wife.
When morning came, he opened his eyes and there stood his wife.
“You were drunk last night weren’t you?”
“Well, if you weren’t, then who put all the band-aids on the bathroom mirror?”
Friend the scriptures bear out a great truth, “and be sure your sin will find you out.” We are reminded that we hide nothing from the Lord.
You may ask, so just what is this sin? I like how Susannah Wesley defined “sin” to her young son, John Wesley: “If you would judge of the lawfulness or the unlawfulness of pleasure, then take this simple rule: Whatever weakens your reason, impairs the tenderness of your conscience, obscures your sense of God, and takes off the relish of spiritual things—that to you is sin.”
You may then say, Will Sin hurt me?
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Sounds pretty serious doesn’t it? But don’t miss the good part, the gift.
“But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
A man purchased a white mouse to use as food for his pet snake. He dropped the unsuspecting mouse into the snake’s glass cage, where the snake was sleeping in a bed of sawdust. The tiny mouse had a serious problem on his hands. At any moment he could be swallowed alive. Obviously, the mouse needed to come up with a brilliant plan. What did the terrified creature do? He quickly set up work covering the snake with sawdust chips until it was completely buried. With that, the mouse apparently thought he had solved his problem. The solution however, came from outside.
The man took pity on the little mouse and removed him from the cage. No matter how hard we try to cover or deny our sinful nature, it’s hopeless. Sin will eventually awake from sleep and shake off its cover. Were it not for the saving grace of the Master’s hand, sin would eat us alive. But I’m glad that someone stepped in and made a way that our sins could be forgiven. That mans name is Jesus. My sign ordeal was between myself, old Charlie, and of course those who just happened to be standing around. But the sins of the heart are between man and God. Don’t try hiding it or fixing it yourself, you can’t. Trust me, it will track you down and devour you. The good news, a conversation with the right person can change it all!