Posted by: Rex Boyles | October 6, 2007

“Make it stop!”

It was an accident … “just one of those things” … that ended in tragedy. A little boy died. It was nobody’s fault … there was nothing that could have been done.

His mother and father were out in the yard, working around the house. He was doing what any 3 year old would be doing … bugging his parents – exploring the outside world. They had mowed the grass, trimmed the shrubs, and washed the car. It was a good day. His parents had reminded him several times, during the day not to play with this or that and NEVER leave the yard.

Something went wrong. No details are necessary here … just know that something went horribly – tragically wrong. As I sat with the mother in the emergency, she was crying – holding one of his little tennis shoes … trying to breathe … wanting to believe that everything would be alright … knowing already that nothing would ever be. She said, “He just kept crying – begging me to, ‘Make it stop, momma … make it stop’.”

I think about that family, often … praying that God will comfort them … hoping that they are okay – knowing that they will never be.

Over the last few days that little boy’s last words – “Make it stop!” – have come to mind several times. They have become the unspoken prayer of my heart.

What happened in my life was no accident. It was my own fault, and what I did could have been avoided … should have been avoided. But something went wrong, horribly – shamefully wrong. “Can a man scoop fire into his lap without his clothes being burned? Can a man walk on hot coals without his feet being scorched?” I had hoped that everything would be okay, but feared that it would never be.

I have been forgiven by God. I believe that … because Jesus lives to “see to it”.
I have been forgiven and comforted by those who know me the best – love me the most.
I have been forgiven and accepted by a people who are “open” to all who need to lie down in green pastures and rest beside still waters.
I have even found in this “blog” a fellowship of prodigals who have been eager to welcome me home.

But a few days ago God laid on my heart the opportunity – no – the responsibility to share what I learned from my shame – to spare others this pain. Since that day my heart has been filled with the shame, fear, and anger that I felt in the days right before (and even after) I confessed my sin to God and man.

That is why I have not written for several days. It hurts to remember just how foolish … selfish … lustful … unfaithful … disobedient I am. It hurts to remember the pain that I caused to so many. It just hurts too much. I want to cry over and over again to the Father, “Make it go away!”

As surely as God required David to continue to lead as the Shepherd … as surely as God required Paul to preach grace as the worst sinner … I believe that God requires me (though I have neither the heart of David or the zeal of Paul) to endure this pain for His name’s sake.

Some of these lessons will come “easy” – simple. Every word from God was revealed to help me avoid evil and remain in His presence. Those will be a pleasure to share for they are words of life. Others will be harder, because they will be rooted in my personal weaknesses and failures. Those will be painful … but I will not hide from this pain – as much as I hate it – because I have a charge to keep. (I also have family and friends, who will help me bear this burden.)

p.s. I thank God for every man and woman, who have been tempted – seriously tempted – to commit this sin but have refused to yield. Thank you for your example. Please share your stories with us – so that we might find wisdom in your use of “the way of escape”. I also thank God for every man and woman, who have sinned as I did – suffered from it (privately or publicly) – repented of it – and shared their story with me … for in your friendship I have found comfort and hope.


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