It still haunts me, not the question but my lack of a profound cure-all answer.
He sat across from me, tears on his cheeks and desperately asking the question. His choices had messed up his life, the lives of his family, the lives of other families and his friends. Now a year after everything hit the reality fan, after seeking forgiveness, trying to put the broken pieces back together, coping with the consequences of the sin, he was hanging on, but barely. Still adrift in anger, doubt and pain he looked me in the eye and begged me to tell him, "What do I do now?"
I wanted as desperately as he to have THE magical answer, offer the concise cliché that implies wisdom, thought and experience.
But all I could offer was "I don't know, but survive one day at a time and it will get easier." Pretty weak words to a guy whose fingernails on the tight rope of life are slowly being pried loose.
David, the King of Israel, is the example of adultery, murder, lies, and poor parenting, yet whom God thought enough of to claim that he was a man after God's own heart (I Samuel 13:13-14 and Acts 13:22).
And while David says, "My sin is always before me" (Psalm 51:2), he is also attributed as saying, "Your word I have hidden in my heart that I might not sin against you" (Psalm 119:11). If you know the story of David, his choices had consequences to the end of his life. I assume there were days when he asked "what do I do now?" Yet, in spite of his actions he was still a man after God's own heart as he struggled each day.
I know that my friend has God's word in his heart. I know he will grasp, crawl and struggle. I know I will continue to walk with him, inadequate though my answers to his desperate questions may be. I know he and I, as frail human beings, will always desire to be men after God's own heart.
If you have questions to life’s struggles, join the conversation on our blog at www.hopeforlife.org; no clichés or pat answers, just real people trying to live for a real God.
(Expressed written consent must be obtained prior to republishing, retransmitting or otherwise reusing the content of this article. Contact us at email@example.com)