By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

We were running a wee bit late on our way to church some Sundays back.
My snuggly warm fur coat was zipped up with haste as I ran out to our waiting vehicle and my patiently waiting husband.
We found ourselves standing through the third stanza of the first song and I engaged in the removal of my coat.
Bugger and blast to the quick discovery that my zipper was stuck;
not kind of stuck, mildly stuck, or hardly stuck ... but really stuck.
Preoccupied with my zipper, I was relieved when the hymn ended so I could sit down and work on the removal of my coat.
But to no avail.
I was just getting ready to give my husband an understood marriage "poke," when it was perceived by me that he had been enjoying the procedings with some amusement the entire time. I could see it in the mischievous "glint" in his eye.
Hmmm ...
I hate to admit it, but now I felt a staunch uprising in my heart which made me more determined than ever to get the coat off by myself without requesting assistance and without drawing attention to myself.
Back and forth I labored on the zipper without any signs of progress until finally, about half way through the sermon, I gave up entirely and decided to go another route.
My options weren't many but I had them:
The one I chose was the "shimmy."
I did a "shimmy" out of my coat, sliding out of it, and letting it fall around my ankles, and disengaging from it. Then I looked at my husband, and he bemusedly looked back, and whispered,
"Give me the coat and I'll fix it."
I gratefully handed him my coat and within a minute the zipper was free and flying again. For heaven's sakes, my friend, what an ordeal I had made it.
Hmmm ...
The message in this illustrative sermon is provoking.
-Sin is a "stuck zipper" in our lives preventing us from hearing and receiving God's word.
-Sin is a "stuck zipper" that encourages pride to grow and "sin sweat" to build.
-Sin is a "stuck zipper" that requires help.
Jesus is the fixer of the "stuck zippers" in our lives, my friend.
He sees the labor, energy, and time engaged in trying to "shimmy out of our sins" privately and He whispers,
"Give me your soul,
 let me free you from your sin-zipper,
so we can enjoy fellowship together once again."
And He waits, watches, yearns, prays, and implores the Father on our behalf to deal patiently with us, while we shimmy and do all sorts of things before coming to Him.
And He knows all about ...
the stuck zipper.
Hmmm ...
I've experienced my share of stuck zippers;
not kind of stuck, mildly stuck, or a little bit stuck, but "really" stuck.
The kind of stuck that you think might stay forever stuck.
The kind of stuck where sweat builds up and you know you can't stay inside the fur forever.
As a result of my own attempts at "shimmying" and freedom finally from it,
I'm now participating in a "freedom from stuck zippers" shop of my own.
It's called Redemption.
For the individual who finds themselves with a "stuck zipper," I sympathize with you and I feel your "zipper" pain with you.
Let me be of some assistance:
 -We all have stuck zippers to deal with and sin to confess.
-We all need practical help and compassion with our stuck zippers and with the dislodging of it.
-We all have a Savior named Jesus who wields the power to get any zipper unstuck.
Confession is the beginning of freedom from it.
Don't forfeit the only option which can truly free you.
Deal with your zipper ...