Today’s confession is long overdue. I have been keeping this secret for far too long. It comes from a dark, damp, deep place – my basement. Yes, I confess – there are more bodies in my basement – dead ones! I have not wanted this fact to come to light. I have wanted to keep it where all secrets go to hang out – hidden, under wraps, where no one can see them. Perhaps I did not want to share this news with you, dear readers, lest you think less of me. After all, what kind of a person keeps dead bodies in their basement? (apparently someone like me) But the truth always comes out at some point, I fear. So better you hear it from me – right?
How could I let this situation continue? Well, removing said bodies is a gruesome, fear producing task, which I wish to avoid at all costs. And I have discovered there is much truth in the saying, “out of sight, out of mind.” I can live upstairs in the sunlight quite peacefully, going about my business as if there are no bodies in my basement and no increasing body count. As long as I don’t have to go to the basement to retrieve something I need, I get along very well. If I don’t see them, they don’t exist and I don’t have to deal with them. I can forget, (for awhile) pretend, ignore, deny – anything to avoid dealing with the reality of the bodies in my basement. I don’t want to keep count. I don’t want to deal with the fact that they are there or with the consequences of their presence in my basement.
Well, this is a lot of confessing for one day! But I’m feeling a little better already. It is true what they say – confession is good for the soul. Actually in 1 John 1:9 I read these words,
“If we (I) confess our (my) sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us (me) our (my) sins and purify us (me) from all unrighteousness.”
And the verse right before that (1 John 1:8) says something interesting,
“If we (I) claim to be without sin, we (I) deceive ourselves (myself) and the truth is not in us (me).”
So if I continue to live as if there are no dead bodies in my basement, I am only lying to myself. They are still there, whether I acknowledge them or not. It’s that way with the sin in my life, too. It’s there whether I admit it, confess it, repent of it, ask God to forgive it and to remove it, or not. Of course sin, like the dead bodies in my basement, is something I would prefer to keep hidden rather than face it and deal with it. Because that would require bringing it out of the darkness into the light and that is always too much of a risk.
King David definitely had some sins he was keeping hidden – such as adultery and murder. Eventually, David could no longer deny what he had done and he came clean before God. Then God was able to make David clean. (pun intended – I bet that’s where the expression comes from, when we “come clean” or confess whatever it is we are working so diligently to conceal, we are cleansed of that burden and given a clean slate and a fresh start) That’s the promise of 1 John 1:9 – if I confess, God will forgive me and make me clean. I can’t clean myself up, I need my Heavenly Father’s forgiveness and love to do that for me. David’s words in Psalm 51 are written during his time of confession, repentance, renewal and restoration which he experienced when he acknowledged what he had done before God. David cried out to God, saying,
“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, . . . Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. . . . Hide Your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity.” (Psalm 51:1-9)
David stopped denying and hiding his deeds from God (which weren’t really hidden from God anyway) and experienced the joy that confession and repentance bring. It’s always just a matter of time anyway until we have to deal with what we have denied for too long. Luke 8:17 reminds me,
“For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open.”
Guess it’s time to bring those dead bodies up out of my basement! Time to come clean and be made clean. I understand the longing of David’s heart and I cry out right along with him,
“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from Your presence or take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.” (Psalm 51:10-12)
I don’t want the body count in my basement to grow. (but those little critters seem to find their way in – I am not even trying to trap them – I want them to leave, not remain with me in my basement) Likewise, I don’t want my sins to accumulate as David’s did when he tried to cover up adultery with murder. The words of Psalm 130 are my prayer today,
“Out of the depths I cry to You, O Lord; O Lord, hear my voice. Let Your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy. If You, O Lord, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand? But with You there is forgiveness; therefore You are feared. I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I put my hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning. O Israel, put your hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love and with Him is full redemption. He Himself will redeem Israel from all their sins.”
sincerely, Grace Day