If we acknowledge our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrongdoing. 1 John 1:9
Last week my oldest son helped me power wash the front porch…a job the kids don’t usually line up and beg to help with! The combination of dust from our gravel road and lots of fly’s attracted by the cattle make it a necessary but undesirable task. As I was swirling my scrub brush along the siding and porch rail I figured I should pray for people who were knee-deep in things a whole lot worse than fly specks and road dust! Not long into the scrubbin and prayin I started thinking about how small dust and fly specks really are when you isolate just one. The problem is when they glob together…that’s when true scrubbing is required! Our porch is pretty good sized so I had lots of time to think about how something that started out so tiny could cause such a big mess.
About a third of the way through the project, I looked down at my fingers that were getting shriveled from the scrub water and that’s when it hit me…the mess on my porch was kinda like sin. I realized through this humbling episode of porch scrubbing that I’m nothing but a big ‘ole sinner! Each little sin like impatience or judgmental thinking that plagues my days is like a speck on my porch…one at a time they may not seem like much, but when several glob together, I wind up with a mess that requires scrubbing! We only scrub the porch once a year, not because it isn’t needed more often, but because it’s the minimum requirement…something we do only when we simply can’t stand it any longer. I began to wonder if there was any correlation between the frequency with which I scrubbed my porch and how often I sought a good “soul scrubbing” from my Heavenly Father.
I sweep the porch often, and I began to realize that was much like my nightly examination of conscience. I quickly ask God for forgiveness before I fall asleep but that’s like a quick sweep…it’s not a true scrubbing. I came to the conclusion that sunny afternoon last week that I needed to make some adjustments in my “soul scrubbing” schedule. We are so lucky to be the children of such a loving and mighty God. He knows keeping us from sin completely is as impossible as keeping the dust and fly specks off my porch, but that’s what keeps us running to His loving arms as we beg forgiveness for the mess all our tiny little sins make when they glob together. His forgiveness is there for us. All He asks is that we come to Him with a spirit of repentance and a desire to change. If I approached Him with a TRUE repentant heart and worked harder at avoiding those small sins maybe He wouldn’t have to scrub so hard when I got there!
My ambition was to have a clean porch; the outcome was a reminder of God’s great love and my ever-growing need for Him. Our God is the God of surprises and the God of the ordinary. I am continually amazed at the ways He sends me His messages when I approach things with prayer…He can even turn scrubbin the porch into a lesson!
A seed to plant: Sit down with a pencil and a piece of paper. Make a list of all the tiny little sins that plague your day and glob up to make a mess on your soul. Lift that list up to the Father with a repentant heart asking for His loving forgiveness. Don’t forget to ask for His guidance on how to “keep your porch clean.”
Copyright 2013 Sheri Wohlfert