December 1, 2008

Who will deliver me from this body of death?

He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. -Colossians 1:13-14

Our church was singing 'God of the impossible,' when she walked into the back of the church. She didn't even lift her head, but I saw her. So did the others who had visited her before. We walked to the back together and her tears began to pour. "I need help. I can't keep doing this. I can't."

As the music continued, the pastor made some phone calls and found a rehab clinic that would accept her. Three of us led her to the upper room to pray. While we were doing this, the entire church prayed for her. Bruna held both of her hands and looked her in the eyes and said. "You have a choice to make. We arranged a clinic for you, but you can only go tomorrow, and only on the condition that you go home to your family tonight and not back to the crack house."

"Oh, I need that. I want that, but I can't." She cried again "When I go home, he's going to beat me. He always does. How can I face my family."

I told her the story of the prodigal son and true repentance. I asked her to make things right with God first, then make things right with her family, then to go into rehab and restore her body and mind. As I led her through a prayer she began to pray and cry and confess her sins like I've never heard anyone confess to God. "OH GOD have mercy, oh have mercy on me. I am such a sinner. I sinned against my family and my children. I've been a prostitute. I am a thief. I am addicted to drugs. I am a liar. Oh God, Oh GOD. I need your mercy. I killed Jesus with my sins. I am so sorry. FORGIVE ME, OH GOD, forgive me."

As I counseled her through the decision to ask for the forgiveness of her family, she wanted to know what to do if they wouldn't forgive her. I read a passage from Joshua to her and told her to be courageous and to do what is right, and that God would be with her. She agreed. With fear and trembling she walked down the stairs. As we arrived at the door of the church, we saw her family. They had just arrived. All of them standing there smiling and with open arms and with tears.

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