“Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.” Psalm 51:11-12
I recall the pain and still experience the occasional grief. It hurts terribly and in those moments, when all seems lost and hopeless I cry out, “God . . . don’t leave me!” It’s a state in which your heart yearns for comfort, embrace . . . forgiveness and grace. And, before my spirit rests in tune with my soul and body on the presence of God living within me, I blame . . . I judge . . . I condemn . . . I self-inflict Cain upon me.
Cain, as you recall (especially if you read the story in Genesis 4 yesterday), was confronted by God on his anger toward Abel. God spoke clearly to Cain regarding the presence of sin, it’s sneaky, “ready-to-strike” position and the fact that he (and we) must master or conquer it! This is a simple reminder that God, my only strength, enables me to conquer the grip of sin!
But Cain chose for sin to master him. The apple didn’t fall far from the tree did it? In fact, that orchard is still producing fruit and it continues to drop not so far from that same tree! The seed of sin was welcomed in and it grew to death — Abel’s death.
Cain, fully aware of the sin in his life began to experience the essence of pain, grief, shame and guilt we all experience because of sin in our own life. And Cain, like David many years later, casts judgement upon himself. Thinking he knows God well enough to predict the Creator’s behavior, he tells God what to do. I’ve never done that . . . HA!
“Cain said to the Lord, ‘My punishment is more than I can bear. Today you are driving me from the land, and I will be hidden from your presence; I will be a restless wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.” Genesis 4:13-14
God’s reply? “Not so!”
What??? Not so? Cain was wrong! He miscalculated the love of God . . . God’s grace and forgiveness!
- Where Cain felt punished, God said, “No way!”
- Where Cain felt burdened, God said, “No way!”
- Where Cain felt kicked out, God said, “No way!”
- Where Cain felt abandoned, God said, “No way!”
- Where Cain felt unloved, God said, “No way!”
- Where Cain felt unwanted, God said, “No way!”
- Where Cain felt unworthy, God said, “No way!”
- Where Cain felt restless, God said, “No way!”
- Where Cain felt homeless, God said, “No way!”
- Where Cain felt friendless, God said, “No way!”
- Where Cain felt hated, God said, “No way!”
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” II Corinthians 12:9