Asking From a Contrite Heart
“Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice. Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O GOD, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.” – Psalm 51: 7-12
Sometimes we sin or we make it a habit of sinning. While at first there is no indication that the sins can actually cause harm, the consequences are being created. Whether we want to acknowledge it or not, the very sins that appear as a viable choice initially in satisfying our flesh and cravings end up devouring and claiming ownership of our minds. However, even with the importance of acknowledging this, it is also possible to get freed from sin with the help of the LORD.
When we ask for help from a contrite heart, we are able to see the beauty of the LORD as He is able to help. He does not want us to live in shame and guilt, but rather to live in contentment and joy. Even when our sins tell us that we are stained and not important, the LORD tells us that we are important and that those stains can be washed clean. There is nothing the LORD cannot do. We must first acknowledge the way we have been led astray from either circumstances or difficulties. From personal experience, I allowed sin to be a band aid to my hurt. I allowed my hurt to be numbed through sin and at the short moment it seemed like it was helping. Until of course the consequences of sin rear their true self and show that sin will never be a remedy for pain.
David writes the importance of repentance with a contrite heart. He understands that the LORD cares that our efforts to improve are sincere. The LORD knows all and understands our pain and our suffering as He was able to go through intense pain and suffering for our own sake. There had to be a sense of suffering when He saw Adam and Eve eating from the Tree of Knowledge and having to banish his creation from the paradise that He had intended for them. He must have suffered pain when He saw Cain slay Abel when Cain’s jealousy wanted the rewards without the sacrifice. He must have suffered pain from seeing David acted according to the lust and took Uriah’s wife. Yet, through it all He gives us mercy. Mercy by allowing Adam and Eve to live and learn. Mercy to Cain by promising him that he would not have the same act that he committed be brought on him. Mercy that David was allowed to reign and father King Solomon and have the promise of having his lineage protected.
Likewise, the LORD gives us mercy when we have sinned. He is waiting for us like the father of the prodigal son/daughter to return home and enjoy the love and joy of having a family that will not judge. Through this we know that we can be forgiven and continue even when our own conviction and guilt is greater. His grace is greater.