Observant Eyes – Take a good look!

As I read this weeks devotional, I could not help but think of a dear sister in the Lord who is going through a really horrible nightmare. You see, she was just sentenced to 18 months in jail for a crime that she admitted to doing. Her sentencing was this past Tuesday and she is currently in a jail cell waiting out her time. This precious daughter of God is married to a wonderful and caring man and is the mother of 6 children, ages 2-19.
She and I attended the same weekend at Tres Dias. I really connected with her and have tried to stay in touch with her since our retreat in October of 2006. As soon as she found out that I was a Messianic Jew, she and I had several conversations the whole weekend, since she and her husband were really interested in the Jewish roots of their faith. I remember how she told me that she was a homeschooling mom who really enjoyed teaching her kids the Feasts and Festivals of the Lord. I have seen her a couple of times since that weekend at various events and have always made an attempt to say hello and catch up with each other.
As many of you know, I served the weekend of May 14-17, 2009 on that retreat. I remember seeing her at a local Applebees restaurant after that Sunday evening, since she and her husband sponsored a couple that weekend and were providing transporation home for the wife. We talked for at least 15 minutes or so and I encouraged her to serve on the next scheduled weekend of the retreat, if possible, since she had not done so yet. Of course, I had not idea what she was facing at the time of the conversation. In fact, we did not find out until someone sent us a prayer request for the upcoming hearing. That was the first we had heard of it, and obviously we were dumbfounded.
I am sure that by now you mind has been wandering and wondering what she could have done to get such a tough sentence, but it really doesn’t matter. She fully accepted her responsibility and did not try to negotiate or deny that she had done it. She plead guilty and left it up to God. She has taken responsibility for her actions, repented, and shared her sorrow for harm she had caused. Her husband is standing by her and loving her through all of this, even though he would have every “right” to walk away. She is at peace; with her husband, family, God and mostly with herself. She truly is free.
How does this relate to the devotional; I will tell you. The story that was illustrated had to do with Passover and the spiritual preparation we are to take during that time. We are to search out the leven in ourselves. We all have heard this before and know the importance, but do we take the time to really search ourselves? Do we take a good look and search for the hidden leven; the kind that only you know about and that God sees? Just by looking at her and talking with her, I would have never know that my dear sister was struggling with an issue that would escalate to the point of her committing a crime that would separate her from her beloved children. You see, that is the deception of hidden sin, we can look “clean” to the world, but God knows. I am sure that if I could ask my dear sister, she would tell you that this “hidden” sin didn’t rise up overnight. It happened over a period of time. It makes me think of the song by Casting Crowns, “Slow Fade”. If you have not heard it yet, please try to. It truly illustrates the message of Passover and hidden sin and the death that comes from not removing the leven in ourselves. One of the lines of the song is: It’s a slow fade, when you give your self away, It’s a slow fade when black and white turn to gray, and thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid, when you give yourself away, people never crumble in a day….it’s a slow fade.
I pray that each of us will use the observant eyes that God has given us to search ourselves DAILY for sin in hidden places, not just during the Passover season. If we wait, it may be too late…

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