Aaaaah — The Shower

It has been a good day; in fact, a most enjoyable day, but by the end of it a great wave of tiredness swept over me.  It was like, one minute I was full of energy, and the next I felt so weary I just wanted to find someplace to stretch out and close my eyes.

When the moment came to do just that, I was then faced with a decision: take a shower before resting or wait until the morning.  I toyed with the choice I had to make.  A small thing, but in the moment of growing fatigue, the matter loomed large in my brain.  Take it in the morning, my brain whispered encouragement to me.  You’ll feel so awful sleeping dirty between clean sheets, indecision shouted loudly.  Indecision won.  I put myself in the shower.

Ohhhhh, how good that felt!  Hot water beat down onto tired muscles, soothing away aches, replacing weariness with new vigor.  Why did I ever even think of waiting till the morning?

Why do we toy with the same thoughts in our spiritual worlds? When we discover that we’ve let something into our lives that takes us a step away from closeness to our Father — why wait to make it right?  When temptation wins a battle — why wait in misery before we take that spiritual shower, letting the Holy Spirit wash away all that is soiled in our lives?

Spiritual dirt is no fun.  Just like physical dirt makes us feel yucky all over, so it is in our spiritual worlds.  The longer we wait before taking a spiritual bath, the deeper grows our misery.  Why do this to ourselves?  Never wait till morning to take that shower; jump into Father’s arms right now with a repentant heart.  Let His love and forgiveness replace your weariness with His own joy and renewed vigor.

To all who consider delaying that needed spiritual shower, consider the words found 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 like crimson, I will make them as white as wool.'”

Washing The House

In order to begin writing today’s blog entry, I looked up the dictionary definition of “pervasive.” It means: “an unwelcome influence or physical effect spreading widely through an area or a group of people.” What I was doing yesterday and today involved something that had become pervasive and it was definitely unwelcome. It was sticky brown dust and green algae — all over the house!

My mother’s house is covered in white vinyl siding. When it was first put up years ago it was brilliant white. Then, as the year came on, so came the dust and algae. How did it get there? Basically, farmers plow their fields, and north winds blow cold that produces algae in places where the sun doesn’t shine all that much.

The grime creeps up slowly. It’s barely noticeable until one day the streaks of brown and green scream out! It’s been building up throughout the year, but it seems to have arrived overnight. Well, I tackled it good: a spray bottle of bleach and a garden hose to wash it away took care of the problem. The bleach eats the grime and in minutes it’s all pretty again. There was a section of the house that didn’t look so bad. I nearly left it until I stepped back to look at the whole house. Wow! That put it all into proper perspective. When I looked at what was already cleaned, the part that I thought was okay actually stood out in its obvious dirt! I quickly applied the bleach, and now the whole house is gleaming white.

Don’t we do that in our spiritual worlds? When we invite Jesus into our lives and ask Him to forgive us of all our sins, He applies the blood of the cross and cleans us up perfectly! We’re gleaming clean and forgiven! Of course, we still live in an imperfect and sinful world. Therefore, we get our feet dirty. Perhaps that’s the obvious grime. What if we cleaned our feet everyday but ignored the rest of our bodies? What if we asked forgiveness for some sins but ignored others? Of course, when we take time to step back and see ourselves as God does, it puts things into proper perspective, and we clearly see that our minds and our hearts need cleansing. All sins must be dealt with because just one left will leave us still dirty. Even if we consider it a “little” sin, if left unattended, it will grow, and when it grows, it will choke our joy. Sin left unattended will keep us from reaching our full potential in Christ. Why, therefore, do we try to hang on to sin? It’s destructive! It’s not pretty. It is of no value to us.

Let’s not do that to ourselves. Let’s not lie to ourselves, saying that just one sin doesn’t matter. Jesus died for that one sin; it matters. Let Him wash it away. Then, walk free and full of joy. The only other choice is to walk around dirty.

Let’s come to Jesus everyday to be washed and forgiven. He never refuses a repentant heart. Read His loving words 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.'” Go ahead, get your house washed today and bask in the beauty of holiness.

It Looked Clear To Me

This past week, Sally, a friend here in the UK, collected my mother and me from the airport.  We had been aware of recent weather and of the current forecast — rain, rain, and more rain.  However, to the delight of us all, when Sally arrived the sun had broken through the clouds, and the drive home was clear and full of sunshine all the way.

I sat in the passenger seat next to Sally while my mother took the seat in the back.  We were are three chatting, enjoying catching up, and soaking in the beautiful scenery along the way.  I looked out across familiar fields with sheep grazing.   Other fields held horses looking very snug with their winter coats fastened securely about them.

Suddenly, the road curved, leading the car in a direction that put the sun straight ahead.  The sun shone brightly through the windshield.  That’s when I saw it, and Sally did, too.

Driving along the way,  previous to that moment, the windshield appeared to be clear.  We could see just fine — or so we thought.  In fact, the sunshine blaring straight through revealed that the windshield was actually very smudged and dirty from all the rain of the week.   Sally and I were both surprised.

It was that moment of dirty windshield revelation when I thought of our lives as Christians.  We get forgiven of our sins, then we go out into our personal worlds where we meet with all kinds of situations.  Perhaps we tell a lie, just a little one.  Perhaps we are angered unnecessarily.  Perhaps we hold a grudge toward someone.  Perhaps we have broken a trust.  Perhaps we have gossiped, sharing some delicious morsel that we’ve heard about someone else.  The list of “perhaps” could go on and on.

We get soiled in the week as the rain of our wrong doings splashes into our lives.  Even so, we feel okay.  Things look pretty good.  Then, the Son shines in, revealing that things in our heart are not as they should be.  That’s when we have a wonderful choice available to us.  We can go on with dirty windshields, pretending that everything is really okay or we can go to our Heavenly Father and ask Him to forgive our wrongdoings.

What happens then?  The most wonderful and joyful thing takes place — Father Himself instantly cleans away the dirty smudges.  He cleans our hearts once more.  He loves us to Himself.  He fills us with joy and inner peace.

Don’t you feel good when you have a clean car to drive?  Don’t you love it when the windshield is absolutely clear?  It’s even more wonderful to have our lives cleaned up and our hearts made clear by God Himself.

When we ignore our dirty windshield,  it only gets worse with time.  It won’t clean itself.  The same with our lives.  The results of sin never goes away with time.  We only feel it worse as we drift further and further away from our Father.  Let’s all remember, with the start of a new year — go regularly to God’s windshield cleaning service.  It’s a joyful start to every day.

“‘ Come now, let’s settle this,” says the Lord.  “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them white as snow.  Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool.'”