Testimony: My Trial of Faith as My Mom Struggled With Cancer Part 15

Testimony: My Trial of Faith as My Mom Struggled With Cancer Part 15

See Part 1 here.

See Part 2 here.

See Part 3 here.

See Part 4 here.

See Part 5 here.

See Part 6 here.

See Part 7 here.

See Part 8 here.

See Part 9 here.

See Part 10 here.

See Part 11 here.

See Part 12 here.

See Part 13 here.

See Part 14 here.

Comatose

I was about halfway through my work day when I realized I had a text from my sister telling me to call when I can.

I did so, hoping it was good news; it wasn’t.

She told me they were airlifting my mother to Phoenix. She was essentially comatose. We didn’t speak long because she was on her way to the hospital.  She asked my brother-in-law to keep me in the loop.  I told her I loved her.

After I hung up, I knelt down and prayed.

My thoughts taunted me. She was supposed to be better. The treatment was over. Things were supposed to be looking up.

Honestly, even then I knew how presumptuous the thoughts were.

I may not be perfect. I’m horrifically flawed and shamefully hypocritical more often than not. But I know now the right thing to do at all times: Praise God.

We’re all to happy to pray when we get what we want, and that’s good. But people tend to think of God like some sky-dwelling genie.  He isn’t. Our heavenly father is our sovereign Lord. He’s loving, and he gives endlessly, but endlessly doesn’t necessarily denote “without judgment” or, more importantly, “without regard for our well-being.” People lose site of that.

After a few days, I learned some of the details, and I feel like I should share that. Please note, this is a retelling of a retelling, but the essential facts are verified by those who were there.

My family has two dogs. Killian and Lucky.  Why two? Well, Killian is a handful, so my parents decided to get a second dog in the hopes that a playmate and sibling would help calm Killian down.  That trick did more for my family than calm down an overly-playful dog.

On the day in question, Lucky, who has a habit of standing vigil around my mom, noticed something wasn’t right. He came out and stared down my dad. After a moment, Lucky went back into my mother’s room only to come right back out.

That got my dad’s attention.  Because this dog got my dad’s attention, my father found my mom and got her to the hospital.  Dad since told me that, had that not happened, it would have been at least an hour before he knew what was going on.

I have an affinity for dogs.  That affinity is only stronger after hearing that story.

At that moment though, I didn’t know the details of what happened, and, more importantly, I didn’t know how my mother was.

I spoke with my boss, who so kindly let me go home to track what was happening. I spoke with a few coworkers who’ve been with me from the beginning.  If I’m being honest, my coworkers are all acting like a bunch of superheroes during this time. I sent my girlfriend a text letting her know what was going on.  Then I went home.

I was numb. I was tired. I couldn’t find the command chaplain before I left, so I was also spiritually drained.

So what do you do when you don’t know what to do? You pray, and you read scripture.  I was tempted to try and keep my day normal. I didn’t want to seem to be trying to B.S. God like some scolded child who just wants to look like he learned his lesson, but I knew God would know my heart.

I started by reading the Bible. I’m in Psalms now, and as I read, I found more and more scripture that gave me more and more strength.

Psalm 40:16 “But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who long for your saving help always say, ‘The Lord is Great!'”

Psalm 46:1-3 “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.”

Psalm 57:1 “Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me, for in you I take refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed.”

I read like a man dying of thirst handed a river. I must have read 20 chapters (though I confess the Psalm chapters are very short).

My weariness started to take a hold of me. I was hungry, but I didn’t want to stop.

That’s when I jumped on the computer and purchased the streaming version of The Bible T.V. series.  I watched that while I ate. I switched back and forth, making sure every moment I could stay awake was centered on reading the scripture, praying, and focusing on God.

Eventually, (and this was still pretty early) I was too tired to do much.  I sent my brother-in-law a text letting him know I was going to go to sleep.  He’s three hours away from me, so the odds of me getting news at a normal hour were unlikely.

I prayed. I prayed knowing others were praying. I don’t think I know how many prayed for us that night.  I hope more of you pray for us.

I read even more of the Bible, highlighting verses that gave me courage and hope.  Then I closed my eyes.

Less than 20 minutes after I told my brother I was resting, I got a text back.

“Holding pattern for now,” he said.

My mom had been having some difficulties on occasion. We weren’t quite sure what was happening, but we knew steroids were helping.  When she was on them, she was more lucid and easier to understand. When they took her off them or tried to cut down the dosage, she’d take a turn for the worse.

If any of you are wondering the obvious question, I was too, but I’m not a doctor, and I don’t have enough information to explain anything.  But I wondered.  I felt anger, but I also felt joy because as soon as they started giving her the medication, she started regaining mobility and coming out of that terrifying state.

It was a night of prayer and Bible study. God’s grace allowed us to regain a bit of footing. The doctors decided to do my mother’s all important MRI one day sooner.

I was honestly overjoyed. I went to work the next day talking bout how it worked out, and it did.

But the MRI would deal another blow.

 

 


 

Questions and Revelations

Why those verses?

I’m still not sure how much I read and highlighted. It felt like more than I showed you, and it gave me a chance to share some of those verses on my other social media platforms. Those are just the ones I found in the neighborhood I knew to look.  When I started this journey, before this tragedy began, I was reading about a chapter a night. That amount has increased dramatically.

In just the last segment I explained how much reading the Bible helps, and it does. It gives comfort. It gives courage. It reminds me that everything will work out. It might not work out the way I wanted, but it will work out for our ultimate good.

Did it all work out?

The only honest answer I can give is I don’t know. I’ll talk about the fallout from that MRI in the next segment. I felt this moment was the right moment to end on because I felt like I was on a high that whole day. To help readers better understand that moment and those that followed, I feel it’s best to relay them as I experienced them.

Why this turn in my mom’s health?

I don’t and can’t pretend to know God’s will or his plan. I have my feelings on the matter, but I’m trusting my heart in combination with the scripture and some discussion with my religious mentors (so to speak).

I do feel it was a chance for me to display my faith.  When we suffer, when we’re tempted, or when we’re in pain, we demonstrate our faith and trust in God by enduring and praising him. It’s not the same as not feeling sad.  I was so stunned I went to autopilot, but I’m immensely proud of what that automatic function did. I didn’t turn to sin. I did consider working like it was any other day, but it felt right putting all of my focus on God.

I’m still asking myself if that shouldn’t be how I handle every day. There’s a distinction between “living for God” and “reading or watching the Bible all day.”  Don’t get me wrong! Reading the Bible all day is a fantastic use of a day. But all my study of the Bible makes it clear that, while we’re supposed to live a life to glorify God, that doesn’t mean we should hold up in the house and just read chapter after chapter.  We have things to do! God has a plan and directions for us all. The most important of which is to testify. Hence this testimony.

If we’re following the basic tenets of God’s will as established in scripture (which I’ll explain in due time), his larger or more detailed plan will become more clear to us. At this moment, I’m leading toward this thought: Live for God. Make sure everything you do is done to glorify him. Again, as a saved Christian trying to live as I should, my life should change to model myself as closely to Jesus as is humanly possible. What I do, the minutia of it, is less important if I’m doing it for God. One should fill his spirit with scripture. One should do much more than that as well. At that moment, I was spiritually drained, so I opted to fill my spirit back up with the scripture. I stabbed my Sword of the Spirt into my doubt and fear and watched as it eliminated those targets, at least for a day.

If you have other questions regarding my faith or thoughts or actions at this point, feel free to ask, and I’ll add them to the blog.  I try to ensure these passages are self reflective. My chaplain told me to take this opportunity to look at myself, but at the moment, those were the only real thoughts going through my mind. Questions might help me remember other thoughts or parts of The Bible I’d overlooked while typing this post.

Thanks for reading

Matt

Testimony: My Trial of Faith as My Mom Struggled With Cancer Part 14

Testimony: My Trial of Faith as My Mom Struggled With Cancer Part 14

See Part 1 here.

See Part 2 here.

See Part 3 here.

See Part 4 here.

See Part 5 here.

See Part 6 here.

See Part 7 here.

See Part 8 here.

See Part 9 here.

See Part 10 here.

See Part 11 here.

See Part 12 here.

See Part 13 here.

Discouragement

 

Job 28: 28: “And he said to the human race, ‘The fear of the Lord– that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding.'”

I hope those who read this journey understand my goal. I want to be a better Christian. I want to be more sanctified with each day.

I recently finished reading the book of Job, and that passage struck me.

The first part makes perfect sense. How could it not be wise to fear our God who is sovereign over all of us. Fear his wrath.

But how well do I understand?

My most powerful temptation is one I’ve struggled with my whole life, and, thanks be to God, I’m improved in that area.  In this, I show my understanding by turning from that sin. I fear saying so because the last time I felt I had a handle on my lust I got battered and fell to temptation.

Even if this sin is one I’ve finally turned from completely, I’m sometimes devastated over how much more sin is in my life.

In order to better process my testimony today, I searched for “How does the Bible define sin?”

I found this webpage from the United Church of God’s Beyond Today.  I’m unfamiliar with this, but it referenced several Bible verses, and I feel more confidence when a church bases it’s sermon on comprehensive Bible study.

The first frustration is the seemingly (important adverb) vague definition of sin.  “All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death.” 1 John 5:17.

I’ve read Deuteronomy, and that’s a quite comprehensive list of God’s laws, including the ten commandments.  As I read the Bible, I’m taking note of the books I feel are important to me to study.  Job, 1 John, Romans, and Deuteronomy are up there.

When I look at all the wrong in my life, even in comparison to how far I’ve come, I can feel such discouragement.

That discouragement, according to mutliple books from John MacArthur (Saved Without A Doubt is the one that most comes to mind), is a powerful weapon of Satan.

“You’re never going to be perfect!”

“Look at you! You’ve worked this hard just to overcome this one thing, and you still have this much other filth in your life!”

I’m resentful. I’m lustful. I’m prideful. I’m lazy (my friends would dispute this, but consider please that I only, and I mean only, do what I want). I’m judgmental.

All of those are sins. To think how much I’ve grown because I’m so much less lustful I am when compared to how lustful I was.

I feel weighed down by that discouragement at the moment. I pray more than I ever have.

“You still don’t have a mindset of permanent prayer.”

I make more of an effort to be understanding and compassionate.

“You still fly off the handle when you hear something you consider wrong.  You still judge.”

I don’t know about you, but this tool, this single whisper is something I wonder sometimes.

“If you’re never going to be good enough, why not just give up?”

To give it context, I was raised near a church I’m not of the opinion bases it’s beliefs on the Bible. One well-respected member of the church would stop me on my way home every day and tell me in great detail how destined for damnation I was. He even went once so far as to say he was “concerned” for me because of the company I kept.  That company? The man who is now my brother in law. I stated what a kind man my now-brother was, and he immediately replied with, “So Native Americans go to Heaven now?”

Can you imagine how devastating that was to my journey? What an effective tool it was to think this hateful, clearly-racist man was a respected representative of God.

I’m currently reading the Bible. There are many reasons why people would be concerned for the company one keeps.  Those are hot-button reasons alone. The point needed to be made here is that I have yet to find any scripture that summarily condemns any one race to Hell.

First off, the Bible is quite clear on the only requirement for salvation:

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:16-17.

There are ways to evaluate and have assurance in your salvation, and absence of sin in your life isn’t such a way.

“I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us-whatever we ask-we know that we have what we asked of him.” 1 John 5:13-16.

One must truly believe in Jesus to be saved.  The next part is the trick though, and this is where discouragement comes in.

“We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the One who was born of God keeps them safe, and the evil one cannot harm them.” 1 John 5:18-20

A saved person’s life changes. He becomes more holy. Some call this the process of sanctification.

I need to remind you I’m not regarded as an expert in the Bible. I haven’t even finished reading it yet, and I promise you I don’t understand a percent (not one) of what I read. I have to study.

What I think I understand through bible and reference to Mr. MacArthur’s books is that it’s a fallacy to think a saved person will never sin again. The point is, you’re life is changing, and it never stops changing.

“Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.” 1 John 3:2-4

We’ll never be fully sanctified and without sin until Jesus returns. What saved people do, however, is purify themselves. The cleanse sin from their lives each day.

Where does the discouragement come from? For me, it’s the thought that I could erase a sin a day from my life and still have a multitude of sins.

I try to target sin.  I try to say, “This is the sin I’ll stop.”

I go a week or a month avoiding it. I might even go that long without ever thinking about it. However, I can’t confess I don’t do any of it anymore.

There are things I haven’t done for some time. There are things I haven’t done for quite a long time. But we sin with our thoughts, and I still think about sin.

This is where my discouragement begins.

Readers, my prayer for you, and what I hope you pray for me, is that you don’t allow your discouragement to become an excuse to give up. Neither should you treat sin as an inevitable opponent. I discussed this in Part 11.

The trick is to be confident in your salvation and diligent in your efforts to change your life. I still have such a long way to go. That list above is a real list. Those are my real sins. I don’t wake up in the morning and say, “I think I’ll be lazy today.”  I just look at my day and realize how lazy I’ve been. My condo is a mess.  My car is in worse shape. I haven’t worked out in two weeks.

Be better.

That’s the option. Our efforts to have permanent change in our lives should be the goal. If we are truly saved, we’re saved. It’s permanent. One effective way to know we’re saved (and there are others) is that our life is changing. My life is changing. I can’t let the fact that my life isn’t “changed,” past tense, trick me into doubting it will.  I can’t let how much more I have to change cause me to want to stop trying to change.

When I dwell on my sins, I hear myself thinking, “Now you don’t deserve to have your mother healed. Now you don’t deserve to marry the woman you’re dating. Now you don’t deserve to see your students succeed or your friends comforted.”

“Fear of the Lord, that is wisdom.”

Yet I lack the understanding to shun evil. Perhaps I have the understanding to know I should shun evil. I do shun some evil, but that’s not the same.

My weapon against this discouragement is the sword of the Spirit (see Ephesians 6:10-18).

The sword of the Spirit is defined in that verse as the word of God.

My current discouragement is that I still sin too much. So today, the verse I look to is 2 Corinthians 4:8-10. “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struct down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.”

Sure, I have a  was to go, but I need to keep going.

“Do you not know that in a race, all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.” 1 Corinthians 9:24. (NOTE: More than one person may attain salvation. What I take from this is running is what matters.  Never stopping. Never trying.)

I will face trials and receive blessings.  I’ve received quite a few of late (a good review at work. Students all passed their last test. My home. My girlfriend (pretty much a blessing every day).

I just can’t get caught looking at how far I have to go any more than I can stop thinking I’ve come far enough.

 


 

Questions and Revelations

Do the verses help?

When I’m smart enough to look for them. Every time I look for scripture on a subject, I feel better. I feel more resolve. I feel more certainty that I know what to do because I went to the bible to find out what that is.

Sometimes I put the sword of the Spirit down, and that’s a mistake for me. The Bible implies by sentence structure that there are parts of the armor you never take off and parts that you occasionally pick up. At this point in my growth, I sort of feel the need to wear the whole thing.

You still think your mom’s health rests on your sin?

No, my mom’s health rests on God’s will. When I sin, I’m not doing a very good job of showing my faith and trust in him though, am I?   I show my faith in him by obeying. I don’t do so based on the belief that “I’ll get what I want.” That’s not really how it works. We show our faith by enduring trials and resisting temptation.  Each failure to resist, I think, is a discredit to God. It hurts your standing. This is compounded when you fail to ask for forgiveness and repent (knock it off). So if I’m not staying true to my faith and trusting in him, wouldn’t it be reasonable to think he’d be less inclined to answer my prayer?

Let’s be clear at this point. This story isn’t the story on my “deal with God.” It’s not a demonstration of what a great Heavenly Walmart manager God is. This isn’t an exchange. There is no exchange. Get saved, or be forsaken. I am saved. I will be saved regardless of my mom’s health.  I’m not trying to be a better Christian because I think that will save my mom. I pray God will do that, but it’s not a transaction. God is glorified in all that he does. He will be worthy of praise if he saves my mom, and he will be equally worthy of praise if he allows my mom to perish. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope,” Jeremiah 29:11.  This ordeal humbled me. It yanked me closer to God more quickly than I was walking at the time. To pretend God will give me what I want simply because I’ve given him this lip service would be a contradiction of the very point of this testimony.  I pray for my mom’s help every day, and I ask you all to do the same for me. However, my mom’s health is not the condition on which my Christianity hinges. If it were, I’d already be lost.

If you have other questions regarding my faith or thoughts or actions at this point, feel free to ask, and I’ll add them to the blog.  I try to ensure these passages are self reflective. My chaplain told me to take this opportunity to look at myself, but at the moment, those were the only real thoughts going through my mind. Questions might help me remember other thoughts or parts of The Bible I’d overlooked while typing this post.

Thanks for reading

Matt

Testimony: My Trial of Faith as My Mom Struggled With Cancer Part 9

Testimony: My Trial of Faith as My Mom Struggled With Cancer Part 9

See Part 1 here.

See Part 2 here.

See Part 3 here.

See Part 4 here.

See Part 5 here.

See Part 6 here.

See Part 7 here.

See Part 8 here.

Setbacks

Mom got pretty sick the last week. One of the treatments was causing her some problems. None were, to my knowledge, immediately lethal; but it caused the doctors to roll back some of the treatments at least until things could level out.

My parents lived in a hotel for the bulk of the week, and since my mom isn’t doing all the treatments, they even let her go home.

No one is panicking in any way, and most feel that the most important part of the treatment is still under way. But where I had more confidence this battle would be over soon, I’m wondering how these changes to the treatment affect the chances that the tumor will be small enough to pull out completely.  It’s not a setback with her prognosis, but we’re not fighting with the number of weapons we thought were available. The truth is the only thing we need is God. He’ll work through doctors, but if he doesn’t want this to work, it won’t. I’m just hoping my mom’s sickness (the illness caused by the treatment) passes, and we can get back to using the whole arsenal of treatments. We’ll just have to see.  Nevertheless, I’m thinking about her progress in the battle as I think about my progress with living a more Godly life.

The fact is, I slipped. That word has a kind connotation that I’ll let stand, but it’s a term worth investigating in yourself.

I think some people believe a person wakes up and openly declares, “I’m going to sin today.”

First off, every person sins every day. We’re human; it’s what we do. As humans, we rank offenses to create morals and societal codes, but God doesn’t have such a measuring stick. Sin is offensive to him.

I’ve always been hyper aware of most of my shortcomings and a good number of my sinful habits I need to turn from. The thing is, I think temptation, and in some cases the devil, work in ways each person has opened themselves up to. I don’t know about you; I can only speak about me and my shortcomings.

Sometimes temptation hits me like a hammer.

It can be a dream. I happen to believe that we’re accountable for our dreams as we are for our random thoughts. I don’t pretend to say I have control of my dreams, but God ordained it so the Jews would crucify their savior. Even though God made it happen, they’re still responsible for their actions. This was something the church I attend actually spoke about recently.  I’m also big on responsibility. I declare that everything in my life is somehow my fault. I may not be completely (or even mostly) to blame, but for me to deny any blame for my situation is for me to admit I have no effect on the world around me.

Temptation can be an unexpected conflict. I’m at my worst when conflict comes without time or preparation. That’s when I feel the desire to be angry or judgmental, two things at which I’m particularly good.

Those, let’s call them, sudden battles are often more visual. I’ve had friends approach me and tell me they were proud of how I’d handle this situation or that.  I’ve even woken myself up a time or two. While more visual, I’m not certain they’re the more dangerous types of temptation. I wish I could tell you I overcome sin more than I don’t, but I’m just not sure. I’m afraid (which means it’s probably true) I succumb more often than I don’t. That said, I think I’m far more victorious in those more-intense, short term battles than I am against the thing I want to discuss in this segment.

Temptation can be a combination of whispers and time. Again, I can’t pretend to know what it’s like for others, but for me, I can go on a huge streak where I feel I’m doing well (relative to the Bell curve that is humanity).  But have you ever felt like temptation was metaphorically whispering gently in year ear for a whole day? A week? A month? While I might say I’ve won a victory or two against those sudden, visual battles with temptation. I don’t know that I’ve ever won against this particular form of temptation.

I think people hear on occasion that they need to keep their eyes on God. I’ve even spoken about one of my favorite little catch phrases, “Orient on God.” The fact is though, this takes consistent, vigilant effort. However, when temptation is whispering in my ear, like a dripping faucet or a song I can’t stop humming, it only takes one instant of a glance for temptation to take hold of me.

Once temptation gets a foot in the door, regardless of whether it’s a hammer that cracks your frame or a whisper that seeps from under the door, it’s all the more difficult to expel because you’ve already let it in.

So how does one shore up that door? I’m aware of the passage regarding the armor of God, but I don’t actually recall it.  It’s all well and good to have armor, but if you put on the breast plate after you’ve already been stabbed, how effective is it?

For me, I’m constantly aware of my frame of mind and my triggers. The thing is, I’m human. This is egotistical to say, but I’m pretty good at thinking about a lot of things at once. So it’s hard to focus all my attention on any one thing. This leads me to my point.

We glance from God all the time.  Perhaps you don’t like that accusation.  Very well, I glance from God all the time. I don’t do it maliciously. But the moment our motivation for what we’re doing isn’t “glorify God,” we’re turning from him. Setbacks happen from time to time. Those setbacks can’t be how the devil pulls us from God. It’s an odd compromise, knowing that you’ll always be a sinner forgiven by God because of Jesus’s sacrifice, and feeling like if one were going to sin anyway, the may as well.

I’m not claiming to be saved because I don’t sin. I’m claiming to be saved because Jesus died for all my sins — past, present, or future. The point is we can’t simply let sin creep in simply because of our savior’s sacrifice.

So how do I respond to setbacks? I usually take it as a sign I’ve turned from God, and I need to turn back. I’m most alarmed when some of my more-continuous battles are lost.

Please don’t think of it like a meter. I think that’s the wrong idea at least.  I don’t want to present the idea of, “Oops, I sinned! Guess I need a few more gallons of God juice on the way home.”

What I do think is, “Wow! I’m not keeping my mind on God, much less pleasing him.”

In his book, The problem of Pain, C.S. Lewis asserts pain is a reminder to focus on God. Could that be what’s happening with my mom? Honestly, it could be that. I don’t know that it is. To claim such knowledge would be to claim to know God’s plan. I’ll never do that. The action I take is the only course of action I can think to take.

While I can’t kneel in prayer every minute of every day, I can increase the amount of things I do. I can read more of The Bible. I can memorize verses. Some people do that, I’m not sure how I feel about the concept, and to ponder this would take a lot of time and distract from this train of thought. One thing I’ve started doing is listening to Christian music. I’ve been a huge fan of Flyleaf for years. So when I work out (which is another good thing to do regularly), I listen to that. I find that I think of sin less when I have a great song stuck in my head.  While I’m a fan, this isn’t a direct endorsement of Flyleaf. It’s an endorsement for Christian Rock, and (more importantly) Christian media.

These scares and setbacks can work to bring us closer to God so long as we don’t stop the actions that helped us. Don’t take the armor of God off to begin with. Sleep in it. Live in it. Fight in it. I imagine most people take that metaphorical armor off on occasion.  That’s when I think temptation attacks. When it does, win or lose, I’ll get my armor back on, and see what I can do to remember to keep it on.

The more I do so, the more likely I am to keep my mind focused on him, which is the point.

 


 

Questions and Revelations

Does God really “hurt” people to bring them to him?

Again, Mr. Lewis asserts so. A recent sermon at church said sometimes pain is given to teach. Sometimes it’s given to punish. Sometimes it just is. This life isn’t meant to be perfect and good all the time. I don’t have any scripture to back up each statement (I’d be grateful if anyone offered some). However, the punish and teach boxes are checked. I’d spoken about David. God hardened the pharaoh’s heart, leading him to keep the Jews, causing God to take all the first-born children of Egypt. That miracle was one of many to prove God’s existence and his power.

The short answer is yes. So remember that each time you sin. I’m not declaring every sin is brutally punished with Biblical amounts of pain. I am stating that God has the sovereignty to punish sins as he sees fit. That makes me wonder though, am I the only guy who’s immediately afraid right after sinning?

Think about your parents. You ever do something, and feel a huge sense of relief after you get away with it? What about when everything goes south, and you realize your parents are going to find out. How afraid do you get in those situations?

Now, consider the fact that God already knows everything we did, are doing, and will do. So I’m afraid a large amount of time.

Why doesn’t it stop you from sinning?

First, I don’t believe  that anyone, saved or not, is without sin. I need to say that because my honest answer to the above question is, “Because I’m human.”

I just don’t let that give me a free pass to sin more or more egregiously as measured by society.

 

If you have other questions regarding my faith or thoughts or actions at this point, feel free to ask, and I’ll add them to the blog.  I try to ensure these passages are self reflective. My chaplain told me to take this opportunity to look at myself, but at the moment, those were the only real thoughts going through my mind. Questions might help me remember other thoughts or parts of The Bible I’d overlooked while typing this post.

Thanks for reading

Matt