Last week was pivotal. I had the opportunity to go to Austin to be part of the Verge Conference. And while there is still much to tell about what I learned and how the Lord challenged me through the conference, that wasn't really what I think He took me there for. I got to spend 2 whole days with an old friend - a friend I don't get to see very often, but when we're together it's like no time has passed. We had much to catch up on. We spent the first few hours I was there driving around, checking out some of what his church is doing to reach their city, sharing war stories of our recent surgeries, and consuming some serious pizza in the process. But somewhere in the midst of the dialogue the Lord began leading us to confess sin to each other. And I don't mean like "I said a cuss word in traffic" either. Deep-rooted, heart-wrenching, life-paralyzing sin. I needed this more than I needed a conference. And God knew that before I ever left home.
James 5:16 says, "Confess your sins to each and pray for each other so that you may be healed." I think many of us wonder, "How is this going to lead to healing?" It doesn't make sense to our flesh, I know. But as we sat in the car in his driveway and humbly poured out our hidden realities - without dressing them up with excuses or justifications - we suddenly began realizing that we were wrestling with some of the very same things. So much of the sin in our lives is rooted in this deep-seeded need for other peoples approval. Whether it was materialism, depression, worry, anxiety, or even pride in our own performance, it somehow seemed to be birthed out of this ugly, deeper darkness. And when you confess that - when you openly lay it out before the Lord and someone you trust - and they look you in the face and say, "I completely understand", there is healing there. The salt that you're expecting to be poured into your wound is replaced with salve - with the healing touch of the Spirit of God. But this only happens when we confess. Confession brings healing. But prideful confinement brings death and misery.
I hope that you have someone you can allow to see into your life.
Someone that will walk with you through the valley.
Jesus will. He goes there with you. He went there for you.
And He calls us to walk there together.
I hope it's not another 2 years before I see my friend, we eat some pizza, and watch tornado videos on YouTube until 1:00 in the morning. But if it is, I'm sure we'll talk about other things as well. And Jesus will be right there in the middle of it all.
1 John 1:5-9