I prayed to the Lord my God and made confession, saying, “O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, we have sinned and done wrong and acted wickedly and rebelled, turning aside from your commandments and rules” (Dan. 9:4-5).
Flipping through a family photo album, a rebellious son called his mother to him, and pointed in sadness to a picture of himself as a small child. “Mom, in this picture I can see such hope in your eyes as you look at me. But I have dashed all your hopes. I know that’s why you can no longer love me.”
The wayward son had so often protested his innocence or minimized his guilt that his mother doubted her son could ever turn from his destructive paths. And it was true, his selfish rebellion had hardened her heart. But, when he confessed his guilt, her hardness towards her child broke. She embraced him with the hope and the heart that was depicted in the photo taken so long ago.
Once again, she offered her love and help to her difficult child. She had not been moved by a denial of wrongdoing, but by a confession of desperation.
The Bible tells us this is also what moves God’s heart on our behalf. His embrace is most evident not when we trumpet our goodness or deny our sin, but when we call out in desperation for his forgiveness. Our Heavenly Father’s love and help are always available when we confess our need of his grace!
Father, I know that I have sinned against you in my words and actions. I ask you now for forgiveness and help not because of my deserving but out of my desperation. Nothing I can do will make up for my sin. I trust Jesus will.