Clean and Fresh
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
Have you ever stepped out of a shower or bath and felt amazingly clean and fresh? Like all the grit and grime, the dirt and gunk, the sweat and filth, the dust and junk, everything you’ve accumulated since your last washing has finally come off of you? Whether you’re homeless with little if any access to a shower, or in prison with strict regulations regarding when and for how long you can wash yourself, or you live in a mansion with 24-7 access to a hot tub, whirlpool, and palatial suite-sized cleaning area, or you bathe in a creek or river for lack of anywhere else to clean yourself, wherever you are, regardless your circumstances, I believe we can all relate to the feeling of getting cleaned up. Clean and fresh. Sigh.
One day I sat at my computer and typed out word by word the message the Spirit of God spoke to my heart. I had no idea what He would say. I just had the strongest sense He had something to tell me. And so He did.
“You are not going to want to do what I am about to tell you. But you must. Repent.” The call to repent, of course, was not unfamiliar. I hear it often. God knows I love His chastening because I know He convicts me when I sin so He can by His love lead me to repentance and draw me ever closer to Him as He teaches me to walk in His ways. I stayed at the computer and typed what He told me. I was amazed. I had had absolutely not the faintest idea what I had done wrong that day. It was so huge, yet so incredibly subtle, that I could not have possibly figured it out on my own. Nor could anyone who knows me have been able to figure it out. For it was an issue of the heart, and only because I am deep in His Word daily, ever growing in my relationship with Him, ever desirous to hear from Him and to love and serve Him with all my heart, ever wanting to be changed by Him and to grow in His image, was I able to discern what His Spirit told me. Then it was I fell to my knees in tears as my paralyzed dog Miss Mercy dragged her body over to me to keep me company as I poured out my heart to God in absolute sorrow, with heartfelt tears and repentance.
I am ever amazed at His love and mercy, His faithfulness in His provision of grace and forgiveness through Christ’s death and resurrection. Two words came to me swiftly as I came up off my knees. Fresh and clean. Ironically, I had not showered that day. I felt grimy from running around on a warm spring day, my hair covered in an I Love Jesus ball cap, no makeup, dirty on the outside. But so fresh and clean inside my heart. Because of God’s grace, I was as fresh and clean as I had ever been.
Need a shower? Bring your heart before the Lord. Hear Him. Repent!