You know in “The Princess Bride” (I’m just going off of my hope that you have all seen that movie, and if you haven’t…inconceivable!) when Westley and Buttercup are in that crazy forest and Buttercup steps into sinking sand? She immediately sinks and disappears. Sinking sand can sometimes be fast, or it can be a slow sinking process. Friends, that is our sin. Our sin is SINKING SAND.
So, let me tell you about my sinking sand. As I’ve told you all, I am a broken and sinful person. But, I have confessed my brokenness and declared Jesus my Lord and Savior. Does this mean I do nothing wrong now? Ha, that’s hilarious. I still do everything wrong – that’s why I know I need Jesus and his grace.
My sinking sand, my sins that drag me down, are worry and control.
I’ve wrestled with these as long as I can remember. I’m a worrier, and from that worry stems the want to control. I worry about things going wrong, I worry about the future, I worry about others. I want to plan and control so that I don’t worry. Vicious cycle, huh? But, guess what? The Bible literally says not to do that. In Matthew 6:34 we are told, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Guys, when I say I struggle with this, I mean it. I. STRUGGLE. Not just sometimes – all the time. It gets to the point where I bring so much anxiety upon myself that I can’t focus on anything else. It literally sucks all the joy from my life. I begin to want and need to see that plan in front of me. I completely lose sight of the fact that my future is in God’s hands and it’s secure in Him no matter what. That alone should be all I need to know. Every time I’ve tried to plan our next steps, God has sent us in what seems like the opposite direction. So I, a mere human, has tried to control and plan our life when the God of the universe determines our steps. Sounds pretty ridiculous when I write that and read those words.
God tells us that he holds us in His hands, so why is it so hard for me to let go and rest in His security and promises? I become enticed with my sinful desire to rewrite the plan God has already written for me so I can visibly see it. Thankfully, I was given a husband who fully trusts in God’s plan and is helping me do the same (thanks to God for giving me exactly what I needed in a man).
Sin destroys us. But, I want to clear something up that we tend to be confused about: God does not tempt us. We are clearly told in James 1, “When tempted, no one should say, ‘God is tempting me.’ For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed.”
That passage tells us that we are dragged by our own desires. Romans 8:6 tells us, “The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.” I know what some of you are thinking – is she calling me evil? No matter how righteous or “good” we think we are, we mess up and sin. We can’t cover it with our own doing, we need God’s grace to cover it – no matter what kind of sin. The second we start believing we don’t need Jesus for everything, even the smallest things, we begin to sink whether we realize it or not.
The good news? The Good News. We have Jesus! “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8
We all, just as I do, allow ourselves to creep back to those sins that trap us in sinking sand that continues to drag us deeper and deeper into them. We allow things to consume us even when we know it will hurt us.
As you read this, what struggle or temptation came to your mind? What’s your sinking sand? If you want a way out of that pit, open the Word and turn to Jesus. Just as Westley jumped into the sinking sand to pull Buttercup out, we are given a way out as well. Jesus is reaching into our sinking sand to pull us out – reach out to him! Just as I need to rest in this promise, I want you to rest in it as well: “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” – 1 Corinthians 10:13
One of my favorite hymns that reminds us Who is in control…
The Solid Rock – Edward Mote
My hope is built on nothing less
than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on his unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale,
my anchor holds within the veil.
His oath, His covenant, His blood
support me in the whelming flood;
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my hope and stay.
When he shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh, may I then in Him be found;
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.
On Christ, the solid rock, I stand;
all other ground is sinking sand,
all other ground is sinking sand.
Your sister in Christ – kayley jean, a wife redeemed