I don’t suppose I’ll ever forget a time, many years ago now, when my oldest niece was five years old. We were all getting ready for bed. I was standing before my mirror dabbing pearl size drops of my night cream onto my face and rubbing it into my skin. My niece had her eyes glued to this procedure when she asked me, “what are you doing?” I replied, “I’m putting on my night cream which helps get rid of wrinkles.” Without a pause she asked, “when does it start working?”
Wow! Reality check! Even so, I have never stopped my daily routine of massaging day and night cream onto my face. I like to tell myself that, although obviously aging, things could be a lot worse if I didn’t use my cream. Last night I realized something. Although my nightly routine hasn’t changed, the frequency of purchasing my daily creams has increased. I began following the directions which instructed me to use “pearl size drops.” As the years passed I adjusted the amount to a few extra and larger pearl size drops. Now, I’m digging out my night cream with a tablespoon! Well, it makes me feel good, like possibly I’m doing something that helps!
I was still chuckling at myself as I lay me down to sleep. That’s when my thoughts took a more serious turn and I thought about how it is when we come to Jesus. No matter what we have ever done in life; no matter how many times we have totally blown it, He loves us and invites us to come to Him, allowing Him to give us the only bath that will ever make us clean.
Like my daily cream, we can attempt to change our situation for the good. We can tell ourselves that we can become a good person by being kind to others or giving more to charity, or work on not losing our tempers so often, etc. We can try so many things to make ourselves good, but no matter how great our attempts, we are still an imperfect people. We can heap tablespoons full of good works into our lives, but at the end of each day, the wrinkles of imperfection are still there.
Jesus provides the only way to be made totally clean and whole. He said this in Isaiah 1:18, “‘Come now, let’s settle this,’ says the Lord. ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool.’” You see, to rid ourselves of sin, we need a sinless Savior who says that He will pay the penalty for us. With the penalty paid, God the Father looks at our record and sees the charges against us have all been dismissed. He then welcomes us into His family, and it’s all because of Jesus. It’s not any good works on our part, but because of the depth of His love taking our place, paying our penalty, setting us free.
Forget the tablespoons of good works to erase the wrinkles of our imperfections and wrongdoings; only Jesus can cleanse, make whole, and make us into a new creation — counted as wrinkle free!