by Laura Cowan
“Long lay the girl, in sin and error, pining…”
I’ve personalized this phrase from my favorite Christmas song, “Oh Holy Night”, because I’m quite familiar with sin and error. They cling to me like socks fresh from the dryer.
Sin- the bad things I do, and the good things I don’t do.
Error- the stuff I make up in my head, and decide is true, simply because I’m the one thinking it, and, well- because it’s easier than facing THE Truth- (see sin and error above).
“In sin and error, pining…”
Pining, according to the dictionary, is “the slow ebbing away of vitality, both physically and mentally, from grief, regret, or longing”.
My own experience of pining can be described as a sickening sense of inward ugliness. Like my soul eternally suffering P.M.S.
“…’Til He appeared.”
The song is speaking of the birth of Jesus, but He appeared to me, too, or His Holy Spirit did. He was always there, but He wasn’t apparent until I acknowledged my utter lack of ability to do things right; or even sort-of do things like a normal person (which, by the way, is an urban legend. There is no “normal”. See “sin and error” above). It’s like I’d spent all my years hunched over a spilled box of assorted nuts, bolts, and mechanical parts, trying to piece together life, and discovering my screws weren’t loose, they were missing altogether. I needed help, I needed HIM. The other definition of “pining” is a yearning or longing. Like really, really wanting HIM-not as merely an assistant for putting together an “Easy To Assemble! No Tools Required! ” Life, but ALL HE IS. My life in exchange for His.
I still sin and I still err. But I no longer pine. He’s the package deal and when I took hold of Him, He took hold of me, and my “soul felt His worth.”
“Come to me, you who are weary and over-burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls”.
1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteous-ness.
If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
Jesus said to him, “All things are possible to him who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”