Overcoming Anxiety About Past Sins

Comments Off Written on May 9th, 2013 by
Categories: Alumni

by Renée Sanford ('95)

No matter what you've done in the past, God wants you to worship Him wholeheartedly today and enjoy life to the full. It’s possible!

When I stand on a sandy beach looking out over the watery expanse of the ocean, hearing the thunder of the waves, I am awed. Every time, I think, “What a magnificent creation! What a marvelous Creator who holds these waters in the palm of His hand!” Instinctively, I begin to sing “How Great Thou Art.” No one hears me as the wind rushes my words to the Lord alone.

One otherwise beautiful spring day, however, it was not thoughts of God’s grandeur that filled my mind as I surveyed the mighty waters stretching to the horizon. My own sin had my attention this time. I thought of one particular sin that I knew had grieved my Creator. And there I sat with Bible in hand and the ocean before me, trying to come back into His presence.

That week I had been memorizing Micah 7:18-20. Verse 19 came back like a song: “You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea” (NIV).

As I confessed my sin to the Lord, in faith I believed that it had sunk to the deepest depths. I then remembered what Corrie ten Boom used to say, that after God hurls our sins into the ocean, He puts up a sign that reads, “No fishing.”

A sin I could have allowed to haunt me was gone altogether. What freedom, what peace, what joy!

My faith in God’s total forgiveness was tested only a few weeks later. I was traveling with some friends to a weekend conference. When we neared the seaside town where I’d been the previous month, I panicked. I realized, This is where I had left my sin!

But the fear passed quickly as I realized my sin was nowhere to be found—it was gone for good. Not buried at sea with the grim possibility of being someday washed ashore, but totally forgotten by God through the blood of Jesus Christ.

Since that experience, I often think of the promise of Micah 7:19 and thank God for the joy of being cleansed completely, being made pure and new.

About the Author

Renee-SanfordRenée Sanford (B.S. ’95) is a wife, mother, grandmother, and friend to many. Over the years, Renée has demonstrated a passion for encouraging women over a cup of coffee or tea (anytime!), on the air (national television and 900 local radio stations), when she speaks (including her popular “Home for the Holidays” message), and through her many published works. Among her credits, Renée is the general editor of Focus on the Family’s best-selling book Handbook on Thriving as an Adoptive Family, co-author of the Thomas Nelson book How to Read Your Bible, and lead author of the 400 pages of devotional application notes in Tyndale’s Living Faith Bible.

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