Recently I had to take our car for its annual safety check, which in the UK is known as a MOT Test. As the car is only a few years old, and has had no issues on previous test occasions, and was running well and feeling safe to drive, the thought of failure didn’t cross my mind. I had every confidence that everything was alright. I was therefore surprised and saddened to receive a phone call to tell me that the car had failed the test and that certain parts had to be replaced before it would pass the test and be considered safe again.
It made me think of how we can be going along in life quite happily, oblivious to things in our hearts which have the potential of taking us off course and causing harm to ourselves and others. I thought of unconfessed sin, hurts, wrong attitudes and mindsets, beliefs and thoughts that are contrary to God’s truth. In certain circumstances, any of these hidden issues could be triggered and cause problems.
As with an unsafe car, it is not only the driver who is in potential danger, but also those travelling with him and other road users. There can be those issues in our lives, linked to the past, which can cause us to act, react, or speak unpredictably and unreasonably. In this way we harm ourselves, those nearest and dearest to us, and those we meet and spend time with.
I have often thought that a Healing Retreat is like a spiritual MOT, an opportunity to allow the Divine Mechanic to lift the bonnet of our lives and, in the words of the Psalm above to ‘search’, ‘test’, and ‘point out’ those things which ‘offend’. Then, as David’s prayer would suggest, when these things are exposed, the Lord is able to help us deal with these problem areas in our lives, as He leads us along the path of everlasting life.
If we come to Him in humility, acknowledging our need of Him, in His grace and mercy, He will help us identify what is not right, and show us what we need to do about it. Then, as, in obedience, these matters are dealt with in the way He directs, we will become a stronger, safer and more secure person on the roadway of life, as we honour and serve Him.
Prayer: Search me, O God, and know my heart today. Try me, O Lord, and know my thoughts, I pray. See if there be some wicked way in me. Cleanse me from every sin and set me free. Amen. (lyrics of a song by J. Edwin Orr, 1912-87)
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