He looked at me with glassy eyes. As if it had taken him away from me. As if it stripped him of anything that made him human. He laid back down and began to breathe deeply and quickly as if the room was depleted of air. He didn’t respond before, but the light had left his eyes now. Then a shiver came, then a shake, then came the tempest. His chest raised as if his spirit was being violently removed from his body. Body and spirit so tightly interwoven that the lift of his chest revealed his body’s resistance to his spirit stretching towards heaven without it. In all this breath…. and shake… and groaning… he never appeared to me less alive. Then the question: “What have I done?”
Sin is heavy. So heavy that not even the whole world together can bear its weight. So heavy that it kills the man who tries to carry just one. So heavy that it obliterates families, relationships, health, nations, and hearts. So toxic that even one drop will spread to everyone and everything instantaneously.
Something God has been teaching me the past month is that sin is worse than I thought. I am a hands on learner. You could tell or show me 25 times how to change a tire, but I will never learn until I actually change a tire. God knows this about me, so he graciously disciplines and teaches me through life experience (Hebrews 12:11).
This month I’ve witnessed a horrific amount of suffering. More than most days I am convinced I can bear. I am so weak and so anxious yet God, without fail, has strategically placed me in the places and lives of suffering people. I’m serious about this, and so is God. I am literally requested by name to sit with the suffering. Last week I began to realize this pattern and I was less than enthusiastic about it. I am the least qualified to bear the weight of all this pain (Matthew 11:30). And quite honestly, if I didn’t have God empowering me through the Holy Spirit, I would have been crushed by now.
As I have sat next to, prayed over, encouraged, and talked with the suffering this past month, the Lord has been teaching me about the seriousness of sin. The Bible has this to say about sin:
“Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned “ (Romans 5:12)
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)
Friends, this is what I have learned: sin brings death, always (Romans 6:23). Even the sin we commit when no one is around. The sin we think is harmless is killing us and those around us. Because sin separates us from a holy God (Isaiah 59:2) who is in His essence love, life, and goodness. It only took one man for sin to enter into the world (Romans 5:12). That means that the weight of your sin alone is enough to produce death. As I watched someone I cared about have a seizure this past month, I was slapped in the face when I realized that God didn’t do this, we did. I did.
The good news is this:
“He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” (1 Peter 2:24, emphasis added)
Sin is heavy. So heavy that only God himself could bear its consequences — and He did. And by His wounds we are healed. Maybe not yet physically, or mentally, but spiritually we are healed.
As David Platt says in his book Follow Me, “Jesus didn’t come to simply alleviate suffering, he came to sever the root of it”. God has so much more in store for you than numbing the symptoms of sin, He wants to totally uproot it from your life so that it can never touch you and the ones you love again. So join me. Repent of your sins and ask God for the grace to live a life pleasing to Him. One that does not perpetuate suffering but rather perpetuates love, joy, and healing.
Father, help us to understand the seriousness of sin. Allow us to comprehend the gravity of what you did when you came to us and died for us- bearing the weight of all of our sins. Give us the strength to turn from sin and never look back. May we never become angry with you for the suffering in the world. Instead, give us grateful hearts that know you and rejoice over what you have done. God, we want more than numb, we want total and complete freedom from sin today, tomorrow, and forever. Amen.