January 04, 2011

Crossed Lines

Psalm 51

I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.
Psalm 51:3


The pop band Coldplay has a song about regret for past transgressions: “I was lost, I was lost, crossed lines I shouldn’t have crossed.” Those words could be humanity’s sad anthem ever since Adam and Eve fell into sin. Transgressions overstep the boundaries that God has set to keep us healthy, happy, and faithfully reflecting his love. Overstepping is how we get lost.

Unlike the psalmist, lost people often have little awareness of the boundaries they’ve crossed. But God still wrestles with us in our lostness. The Spirit’s inner work may spark a growing regret, or it might produce a sense of weariness or emptiness—a yearning that the world cannot erase. These can signal that the heart is reaching a turning point.

Don’t dismiss such feelings. Be patient with them. After all, a first step to being found is to admit to feeling lost. It might feel like an emergency, and that’s exactly what it is—an emerging within. Jesus calls it a new birth (John 3:5-8).

To a lost world, we bear witness that God can turn emptiness into great fulfillment. We share stories of the mercy God showed us when we crossed lines we shouldn’t have crossed. And we trust the secret work of the One who can teach us the wisdom of Christ crucified. “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

God, renew me with the joy of being found by you. And give me a vivid faith, that I may share this good news with others who need to be found. Amen.

About the author — Norm Prenger

Rev. Norm Prenger is a graduate of Calvin Theological Seminary. He pastored churches in Alberta and British Columbia before he was disabled by a heart attack and a post-operative stroke. He now lives with his wife, Gwen, near Thunder Bay, Ontario. He enjoys fishing, writing, drumming, and encouraging his fishing partners and neighbors to follow Jesus.

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