A Devotion for November 29
by Dawn Adams
Besides this, you know what time it is, how it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers; the night is far gone, the day is near. Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armour of light; Romans 13:11-12
There was a time in my life that the shame and guilt of sin overpowered my inner soul and affected my life in ways that I never imagined. I minimized my behavior by justifying that even when I behaved badly, I’m still not that bad. I am good. However, I certainly didn’t feel good. After experiencing profound heartbreak, I spiraled into depression and fell into bad habits. I quickly learned how easily one can become addicted to self-medicating and self-destruction. One day, I woke up and didn’t even recognize myself in the mirror. My heart was shattered in a million pieces and I felt alone. Family reminded me that I wasn’t alone; I had four children. Who was this person looking back at me in that mirror? It certainly was not the kind of mother I wanted to be. I tried to live my life in a manner pleasing to God, but I had to own up to it. I am a sinner and was in a dark space.
I went to the living room, picked up my dusty Bible and opened it up directly to Romans, which tells us to turn from sin and embrace the light, turn from immoral acts, and embrace a life pleasing to God. How, Lord? I continued to read different parts of the Bible that evening. That was the night I was saved. It was like food feeding my soul and I understood the Bible in ways I had not before. I felt the Holy Spirit come over me. I was alone, in my dining room, experiencing my salvation. There was no pamphlet, or preacher condemning my spirit to hell, or the judgment of another person telling me who I should be. It was my instruction guide to come clean.
It is time. You may have believed in me before, but you did not live out your faith. Put away your darkness, and wear the armor of God.
I began attending church but still felt very much alone while I was there. Everyone was perfect, or so I thought. Tears often fell. A scholarly couple was sitting next to me who had attended the church for many years. They were perfect in my eyes. The wife asked me what was troubling me. I told her I was a sinner. She said, “Honey, church is for sinners.” It was the first time in my life I had ever heard that and I’ve been to a lot of different churches and denominations. It was at a Methodist church that God offered me prevenient grace and unconditional love. I am often reminded: I belong. He has chosen me. He wants me. He needs me. I am not alone. He is my armor. He is my strength.
Lord, we are not perfect people or free from sin. Many of us, including myself, remain a work in progress. Lord, I pray if someone is suffering from their sin, shame, guilt, heartbreak, sadness, or grief that they will come to know a deeper relationship with you. Lord, grant us peace and understanding. It is time to live anew, seek your Word, and open our hearts to faith, instruction, grace, love, connection and service. Amen.