Happy February 4th! Here’s another Bible verse that is dear to my heart:
For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief. ~ Proverbs 24:16
As a teenager, I couldn’t seem to stay out of trouble. I was always doing something wrong. My brother was a pastor and well-known in the churches in our area. My sister was away at Bible college being voted “Miss Compassionate.” I, on the other hand, was at home talking non-stop and lacking discretion. I was guilty of back-talking to my mom and dad. I was even known to blatantly disobey them.
Every time I misspoke, rebelled or disobeyed, though, I was smitten in the heart. That was the Holy Spirit. I truly hated the wrong that I had done. At the same time, I could see no hope of ever doing right. I can’t tell you how many times I cried myself to sleep, asking God, “Why can’t I be good, like Melanie?”
The Lord heard my cry. A preacher read this verse during a church service and it was as if the Lord illuminated it just for me! I was encouraged that even though I’d failed, and fallen, seven times (or maybe 107) I could get up. I could keep going. I could seek forgiveness from my Lord and from my parents and (here’s the best part) I could BE forgiven! I could put it behind me and move on.
That did not mean that I didn’t pay the consequences. After all, Ron Courtney was my dad. He didn’t let things “slide”. But I knew that the punishment meant he loved me, and that I was restored.
“Miss Compassionate”? No, I was not.
Loved by my Heavenly Father? Yes, most certainly.