This past week felt a lot like Spring around many parts of Iowa. Saturday was Sunny with highs in the 50s around many parts of the state. If you have walked through your yard or driven on any gravel roads, you may have also noticed another Springtime phenomenon, Mud! We got some rain early this week and my car was looking pretty clean afterward. Later that day, I had an appointment about 5 miles out on gravel and though I tried to avoid any big puddles, regardless, it was covered in a nice dusty brown again. I even saw someone this morning scraping mud off the highway, near where a lot of vehicles were going in and out of a muddy parking area. No matter where you encounter mud, you will eventually end up with some of it on, or all over you, and you will get dirty. How do you avoid getting dirty when everything around you is covered in mud?
Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Psalm 51:7
One early memory I had, when I was probably 2-4 years old was playing with my brother around one of the mud puddles we had on our farm. It probably started out innocently, but eventually became a mud wrestling challenge. I don’t recall many of the details, but I do recall my mother’s reaction when she found us, and having to clean up the mess we made of ourselves. It may have seemed fun at the time, but getting dirty always has consequences. Someone has to clean up our messes. I often comment to myself, or my wife, that raising kids is a constant cycle of cleaning up one mess after another, whether mine of someone else’s mess. How about you, who cleans up after you? Whether that is around the house, or a work project, or relationships that have been damaged in some way by what you have said or done?
“Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. Isaiah 1:18
How often do you go to the Lord and ask Him to clean up your messes? How often do you ask for forgiveness from the mistakes and sin in your life? Even if you do not realize all the things you do or say and how this impacts you or others negatively, it is good to ask for forgiveness from these things in your life to be made right, and to feel clean again, for a time. It is easy to downplay how much sin impacts our lives, when we say, ‘oh, its just a little thing, its not that bad.’ While we may not overtly intend to break the law, at various times, we do so, even if we are unaware of it. We do start to notice the cumulative effect of sin, selfishness, and dirt in our lives when the person looking back at us in the mirror is barely recognizable. As a regular, even daily practice, seek forgiveness from those things that tend to mar your face and life. Know that you can be made whole and clean again each time you go back for the water that cleans not just the outside, but your entire body, life, and soul.
If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:8-9
Yours in Christ,