I was at the Dentist, of all places, when I heard one of the most profound statements of my life. I overheard a conversation with another patient. They were going up towards Johnstown, PA, and the Dentist was suggesting that they go to visit the site of the Great Johnstown Flood. He said it was such a tragedy, and so avoidable. He said, “It didn’t have to happen, you know. No one was ever held accountable. It was determined to be an ACT OF GOD. But it wasn’t an ACT OF GOD, I mean, God didn’t put the Dam there.”
I nearly jumped out of my seat when I heard that one. “God didn’t put the Dam there.” All my writer sensors tingled, my hands ached to write, but this is the first chance I’ve had to write this down since I heard it yesterday. So many things go wrong in our lives. Some are because of choices that other people have made, some are because of our own choices. Some things just happen because they happen. But how often do we blame others, or blame God when we have made bad choices, and then it all comes crashing down on us?
I think one of the most important lessons to learn in all of life is to take responsibility for our own actions. Yes, God does promise “to work all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according o His purpose.” (Romans 8) But we must accept responsibility for what we do wrong. We must seek forgiveness and restoration with each other. We must build up what we have torn down with our own hands. I have something in my own life that I am facing the consequences for. I have made some bad decisions in the past and it has led me to where I am. I have faced It, confessed it, and now I am asking God to help me walk out of here and into a better way of living. He is and He will. God promises us this:
1 John 1:9 (NASB)
9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. That’s a mighty big “If” to overlook. Confession and repentance are precious Gifts from God, like the right to Vote is in America. So let us stop blaming others for those things that are our own doing. Let us, “Man Up” so to speak, and confess and repent. GOD DID NOT PUT THE DAM IN YOUR LIFE, You did. He promises to lift you out of the miry pit, to set your feet on solid rock, to forgive you and cleanse you from all unrighteousness. But our call is to face up to the truth of what we have done, the mess we have made, and make it right.
Now some people will not respond to this positive step we take in trying to make things right, but we are free, and here is how I know that:
Romans 12:17-19 (NASB)
17 Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. 19 Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.
There it is, our “get out of jail free card.” If possible, so far as it depends on you…Be at peace with all men. So let’s do our part in the matter. Let’s own up to our responsibility and leave the rest to God. May He bless you in all your efforts to do His will. Perhaps freedom waits just around the corner for you, take that step toward it.Amen