Years ago, our accountability group had a guy that hadn’t quite made it to the “work-in-progress” level. He was wreck in progress! He’s on his third marriage, second bankruptcy and his first accountability partner. The thing about him was that he’s just out there. Having him in our group made me feel like Billy Graham for about three seconds. Three seconds pass and then I remember that he’s got nothing on me when it comes to spiritual wreckage. Some messes are just out there for the world to see. Other messes, more insidious issues, hide underneath the surface of our glossy exterior. These hidden issues are especially dangerous because they can slide under the radar; things like greed, resentment, ungodly ambition, and other secret saboteurs of the soul.
Psalm 130 underscores this ugly truth. We are all a wreck in a thousand different ways. We are wrecks, standing in the need of prayer, a day away from disaster. But the good news is found in the conjunctive sentence that follows: “But with You, there is forgiveness.” (Ps 130:4a) I’m so glad that this is the next line in the song. I’m relieved that it wasn’t something like: “With You I will hide in fear and hope that you don’t see me.” When we can’t stand in our own righteousness, which is basically all the time, we have a Father who invites us to run to him for mercy and forgiveness. That’s what is so powerful about confessing our struggles. All secrets lose their power in the light of their revealing. We are all on level ground in the presence of the Father. That’s why we say that the Jesus way is gospel—good news of GREAT joy.