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Turning Back

Turning Back

‘Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death’ (2 Corinthians 7:10).

 2 Corinthians 7:8-11

There is an unsolved mystery lingering over my family. Some years ago, on a trip to the Adelaide show I had purchased an extra Bertie Beetle showbag full of chocolates for a friend whose children couldn’t go that year. When I went to give it to them, the bag felt strangely light. There were only two left. My husband and I tried all manner of tactics to help the guilty one (or ones) of our five children confess and repent, including begging, pleading, threatening and the offer of instant forgiveness with no consequence. Mysteriously, not one of the 5 could recall what happened to those Bertie Beetles. And they never ever have.

In this section of Paul’s letter to the Corinthian church, he is feeling pleased that his begging and pleading has had a much better outcome. He had previously written admonishing them for some beliefs, attitudes and actions which concerned him greatly, and they have listened to what he said, taken his words to heart and ‘turned around’ because of it.

Have you? Has a scripture during your personal reading, or in a message at church, or sent by a caring friend, ever pierced your heart and turned you back to the one who poured out his life for you? Each time this has happened to me, I have gained a deeper understanding of the truth contained in Hebrews 4: ‘The word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow: it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart’

If this has been your experience, I pray you have also come face to face with God’s unending capacity and desire to embrace, forgive and walk forward with you, his dearly loved child. May you grow in friendship with the one who was waiting and watching with hopeful open arms for you to turn back to him.

Thank you for the Cross, the ultimate sign of your desire for me to be restored in my relationship with you. Help me return there often and see the look of love on the face of the one hanging there, for me.

Sonia Hulme