It has been a difficult few days. In my last post I referenced a death in the family and my involvement in the final preparations, a memorial and shepherding people through their grief. It was both a privilege and a burden. To do all of this, I had to travel to a place where “raw life” happens. Suburban, Southern living rarely gets visibly raw; of course life in the south (like anywhere else) gets very difficult but it is usually kept under the surface, out of the light. In fact, I often bemoan these things to people. I complain that the South can be a difficult place to minister since there is still so much cultural Christianity though the veneer might be thinner than it used to be. Still, to live and work in a place where that veneer is absent presents a different kind of difficulty. It was to this kind of place, where it was visible and it was paraded, that I went.
Providentially, Baxter highlights some of the very challenges that I witnessed in my recent travels: people who love their sins and as a result will not turn to God thinking they still have time to wallow in it. No, life’s timer expires often when we least expect it.
Your delaying shows that you love not God and that you prefer your sin before him and that you would never part with it if you could have your will. For if you loved God, you would long to be restored to his favour and to be near him and employed in his service and his family….And it is a sign also that you are in love with sin: for else, why should you be so loath to leave it? He that would not leave his sin and turn to God till the next week or the next month or year would never turn if he might have his desire. For that which makes you desirous to stay a day or a week longer do indeed make you loath to turn at all.
We underestimate the power of sin to keep us in its grip. We linger over mixed wine too long because it smells inviting and it tastes sweet. The time to turn from sin is always now.
Turn to God without delay,