Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A shirt free of stains & coffee free from gnats.

I must share with you about my morning. Lauren was at vacation bible school at a friend's church up the road and Liberty was taking a nice morning nap. The house was strangely quiet. I had shared before with certain ones that once my facebook account was deleted that things in my mind & heart became very still & quiet. At first, I did not like this. But over time I appreciated it and I seemed to think more clearly. Anyways, this time it was the house not my heart. You could hear a pen drop. The washer & dryer were not running, the dishwasher was off, the AC had not kicked on yet and my loudest, most talkative child was away. As I sat down with my laptop to share my recent thoughts with a friend, I picked up my coffee cup to take a sip in between thoughts and ended up with a mouthful and still holding my cup looked down to see a tiny gnat floating in my coffee...out came the mouthful of coffee into the cup and straight down the drain went the rest. I was very frusterated that I had plopped on my freshly made bed with my half-way finished coffee and a mind full of things ready to share to a listening ear and there was that gnat; making me have to jump back up, forget my trail of thoughts for my email and pour my perfectly sweetened coffee out. 'Bleh' I thought. For some reason, writing is not as enjoyable to me if I don't have that mug to sip out of in between sentences. I poured me a fresh, steamy cup of what was left in the carafe and fixed it up, and happily went to finish what I started. As silly as this may seem to you, it made me ponder. If I have a shirt I love, it fits perfect, it's comfortable and cute as pie and I happen to find one small stain then that is all I see. It frusterates me that one small stain can ruin my favorite shirt. If it doesn't keep me from wearing it then I am limited to what I can wear it to. I'd rather wear one that is free of stains and not my favorite.

Do you think this is how it is when God sees our hearts? Our hearts may be white as snow and if there's one small stain, He cannot help but see that only. It matters. It matters because it messes up that which could be perfect. So close, yet so far. This is why He takes time to work on that one small area...it may be in the most intimate part of our lives but He will do what it takes to remove that which keeps us from perfection. We must yield to His cleansing. It reminds me of the chorus to a song my sister, Kailey, wrote "Wash me in your cleansing flow...break me into something Holy!" How true this is! How painful! How beautiful! He wants His dwelling place, our hearts, to be spotless. Or, if you will, "gnat-less." Perfect. Exactly how I like my coffee or my favorite shirt. He has good taste--and will only accept that which is spotless, fresh and enjoyable.

With that said, I want to clarify that it is not our perfection, only His. To yield to His cleansing is how we become free of filth. As a dear friend pointed out, without his heart of mercy and His endless grace,we are forever stained and full of gnats.

"Wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight! Stop doing wrong, learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow. Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord. Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as now; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. " Isaiah 1:16-18

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