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Signposts: Daily Devotions

Written by Renée Miller

Sunday, July 11

Tremble then and do not sin; speak to your heart in silence upon your bed.
—Psalm 4:4

We usually know when we've fallen short. We're aware when we've failed to do what God would have us do. We recognize when we've sinned against God, against ourselves, against others. If only we could undo the damage. We wish we could take back those words that hurt someone we love, the lie we told instead of truth. 

We regret that we didn't help the needy person who looked to us for assistance. We wish we hadn't said cutting words about a
friend behind their back. And, given a moment's honest reflection on such sins, such failings, something inside us trembles.

Our trembling is not so much shame as it is a longing to undo the wrong and a feeling of powerlessness to do so. This inner trembling is actually our friend—our ally in living a life of goodness and internal peace. It is the trembling that will keep us from sinning again.

Rather than trying to avoid or deny the trembling—the wishing that we had not done what is hurtful—embrace it. 

Then try this:

At the end of the day, before you fall asleep, quiet yourself and feel the presence of God around you. Silently begin to speak to your heart. Note the things done amiss, the thing left undone, the trembling. Then in the stillness, share your sorrow with God. As the forgiveness of God's love washes over you, simply let go of all the wrongs of the day and close your eyes in sleep.

Cause me to tremble, O God, when I have stepped away from goodness. But,do not let the trembling lead me to despair. Rather, let it bring me into the peace of your forgiving embrace.

These Signposts originally appeared on explorefaith in 2003.