I have a favorite book called There’s a Snake in My Garden, by Jill Briscoe. I remember seeing it on my mom’s bookshelf in Africa and came by my own copy later in life. Not until recently has that realization really hit home. Knowing there is an enemy and feeling his slithering evil are two different experiences. His whispers are believable yet untrue. His enticements are tempting, but always destructive. Temptations are shiny on the outside but ugly on the inside. Sweet to the taste, but leave us throwing up and bent over with pain. Temptation in and of itself is not sin, but just like a seed only needs some water and light to grow, it doesn’t take much for temptation to grow into more. The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, He will show you a way out so that you can endure. (1 Corinthians 10:13)
That is the good news. The gardener of our hearts doesn’t turn His back on us, lock the door and let us fend for ourselves. When we start fending for ourselves, is when everything falls apart. Thinking I can handle temptation on my own strength is recipe for complete failure.
Jesus isn’t looking to condemn us. He is looking to free us. Confession and repentance lead to forgiveness and healing. Don’t let the ripple effect of sin reach its tendrils into every facet of your life. The yucky part is confessing our sins to one another. Even more yucky, though, is if we don’t.
This week I’ve experienced love, healing, and growth. The snake isn’t dead yet, but he is defeated and he knows it. He surely wants to ruin us while he has a chance, but Jesus is stronger. Sin is broken. He has healed us.