One of the things I did this Independence Day was to go hiking at Platte River State Park with my son Caleb, my husband Jim, and our bichon frise Coconut. The hiking trail took us along a creek, by a waterfall, and to the banks of the Platte River. Several times we crossed the creek.
Imagine a fluffy white dog wading through a muddy creek up in water up to her chest. Yep. That’s right. By the end of the hike we no longer had a fluffy white dog. Instead we had one wet muddy dog. In fact, parts of her looked like a mop that was used to clean up a mudslide.
Needless-to-say, when we got home (we luckily had a blanket in the car for her to lie on) she got a bath…much to her dismay. After the bath we once again had a fluffy white dog.
Sometimes I am like Coconut. I am muddied by the dirty waters of sin. In fact, I am much like the Apostle Paul who penned the words, “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate what I do” (Romans 7:15).
The things I want to do but do not do include saying a kind word at the right time to someone who needs it, doing that extra chore when I do not feel like it, and being patient with my family when they bother me, among a long list of other things I do not do. I hate it when I fail to live up to God’s expectations.
The things I do that I hate include overeating, complaining, and feeling sorry for myself when things go the wrong way…to name a few. I also hate it when I do live down to Satan’s expectations.
I admit that I feel dirty inside when I find myself sinning. But I can rejoice! By Jesus blood I am bathed and made clean. In Isaiah 1:18 we are told that our sins will be made as white as snow.
I have known people who believe their sins are too great, they are too muddy for God’s forgiveness. Not true! David had an affair with a married woman, got her pregnant, and then had her husband killed. Yet David was a man after God’s own heart because he repented and turned to God for forgiveness.
When I am feeling bad about my sinfulness, I meditate on the fact that when I repent I am forgiven. Sometimes I feel that wash over me like a spring rain. How refreshing to know that I am made clean by Jesus!
That is my prayer for you friends: that no matter what you have done or not done, no matter how drenched you are in the mud of your sin, you may know the cleansing waters of God’s forgiveness and that you may feel clean once again.