In my dark room, the light of my phone illuminated the small space around me as I lay in bed and Googled, "Does God punish our children for our sins?"
Regret, guilt, and fear tortured me so immensely that I couldn't sleep. For years, I stood on a metaphorical beach while the tide brought in treacherous waves of guilt from sins of my past and memories of people I hurt. Even when the storm calmed, I felt the sand below my feet sinking, little by little. If I couldn't let go, how could omniscient God? He is, after all, Knower of All Things.
How could He forgive me?
That night, the wild thought crossed my mind and I couldn't push it away. That God would punish me for my sins by taking away or hurting my son was ridiculous, right?
Have you ever been so wrecked or worried that you couldn't sleep? Maybe you stay awake convincing yourself that this or that situation is bigger or worse than it really is. Maybe you can't sleep because he or she hurt you and you just can't get over it. Or maybe you struggle with sin that seems completely unforgivable.
As I worried and Googled away, trying to discover the answer as to whether or not my son's life or future was in danger because of my past, I failed to do one important thing.
Read the Bible.
The next day was Sunday, and I groggily went to church, emotionally hungover from the sadness and worry of the night before.
An incredible message delivered by the pastor, and an emphasis on Matthew 11:28-30, reminded me that God is a forgiving God. His doesn't hold our sins over our heads. Our children are certainly not at risk because of a sin in our past.
Come to me, all you who are weary and 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. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. - Matthew 11:28-30
God isn't making sure our blessings don't outweigh our sins and the guilt of our sins.
The Bible says that He rejoices when one of His sheep is found, and He doesn't wait for it to mess up or wander off so that He can punish it.
If you are worrying or feeling sad or guilty or scared, don't let those feelings lead you away from the promises of the Word and the love of Jesus. His blood covered all of our sins. Don't pick up your phone to find a forum of people discussing whether or not you are forgiven. Don't lay in bed awake and hold tightly to grudges. Give all that to our all-knowing Father.
Go to sleep. God is also omnipotent. Google it.