“I am watching them closely, and I see every sin. They cannot hope to hide from me.” (Jeremiah 16:17 NLT)
It all began so innocuously. One day last summer, I noticed a small bump, about four millimetres in diameter, close to the outer corner of my eye. I poked and prodded it a bit, and it bled a little, so I knew that I should probably just leave it alone. Over the next couple of months, I mostly ignored this new little blemish, but one day at a routine appointment, my doctor noticed it and referred me to a dermatologist.
The dermatologist’s exam and biopsy led to surgery to remove a basal cell carcinoma. This was not the life-threatening variety of skin cancer, but it still needed to be dealt with. The cancer was caught early, and the small tumour was completely removed, but it was not without consequences. Follow-up care of the incision involved no lifting or bending, hourly icing for a couple of days, dressing changes, and removal of sutures. My eye was black and swollen for days, and I will have a lifelong scar to remind me of what might have been.
When I asked the surgeon what might have happened had I continued to ignore this tiny bump — or had my sharp-eyed doctor not spotted it — he explained that the visible bump was only the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. A tumour like this can have a larger mass under the surface with roots and tendrils that can grow and severely damage surrounding areas. Had this lump not been removed, he said, my eyelid could have been badly damaged and deformed, and possibly my eye as well. How grateful I was to have dealt with this issue before serious damage was done.
Sin can be like this. We may tolerate or even enjoy some small sin that we consider to be innocuous or irrelevant to anyone else. It may take someone else — like my doctor — to force us to see and acknowledge our sinful action. That sin may seem to be insignificant on the surface, but there are hidden roots under the surface. If allowed to grow, the sin can spread and cause serious, long-lasting damage. Complete removal of the sin is necessary to deal fully with it.
After the sin is dealt with through confession and God’s forgiveness, there still may be residual effects before healing is complete. We may need to confess our actions to others, making recompense. Recovery may be slow and painful, and there may be a residual scar as a permanent reminder, but a clean excision of the sin brings peace and a renewed relationship with God.
Prayer: Dear Father in heaven, You see and know our hearts and the sin that we think is insignificant or deeply hidden. Please reveal that sin to us, and cause us to deal with it, asking You to remove and forgive it. May we then receive Your healing work. Amen.
Copyright © 2022, by Gail Lundquist <email@example.com>, first published on the PresbyCan Daily Devotional presbycan.ca .
Beaverton, Oregon, USA
Reprinted from PresbyCan with author’s permission