About 2 years ago around this time of year I was driving to the Denver airport in a taxi cab. My cab driver – let’s call him Fred - started to tell me how he became a Christian back in his native African country (I can’t remember the country). A friend of his had basically gone crazy and disappeared for about a year. One day his friend showed up, cleaned up, and in sound mind. His friend had become a Christian and his sanity was restored. I’m thinking there was a lot more to it than that, but we’ll leave it at that!
His friend invited Fred to church and Fred reluctantly went. The pastor seeing Fred was pretty nervous about entering the church asked him to go and talk with him in another room. The pastor shared the Bible story of God's love and forgiveness, and eventually Fred accepted the invitation to follow Christ. The pastor encouraged Fred to silently confess every sin he could think of and said that God would forgive him on the spot. Fred said that when he was done he felt as if a huge weight had been lifted off his shoulders, and that he’s been happy ever since! Fred said he shares his conversion story as often as he can to anyone who will listen.
I could tell story after story about people who have felt depressed, and weighed down by all the burdens they feel, who made the decision to follow Christ, and the weight was lifted off, just like it was for Fred. If you have never made the decision to follow Christ and accept God's love and fogiveness, why don't you do it now?
Even as Christians we tend to get weighed down once and a while and I think prayer can help relieve us of this weight, or whatever our individual burden might be. I for one get chronically weighed down by everyday life, and it’s one of the reasons I spend so much time praying. Through prayer I’m reminded that I am a forgiven child of God. I’m free, the burden and weight of sin is lifted off. Through prayer I simply rest in what God has done for me, and you can too.
learning to pray: My friend Jesse, the hot rod preacher, said something on Sunday that I thought was great. He said we don’t always have to experience something for it to be true, sometimes we just need to know, and that’s enough. Today KNOW that you are forgiven. KNOW that Jesus paid the price for your sin and that you are free! If you need a little further help, meditate on Romans 8:1, Colossians 3, or Psalm 103. Here’s a bit of Psalm 103 to get you started:
8 The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
9 He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.