God's Laundry Day
I have to confess that I really don’t enjoy laundry day! Oh, I love clean clothes. The smell of fresh towels, a good night's sleep on crisp sheets and I especially like the way my family looks when they go out dressed in their spotless outfits. Although I would rather do anything else, the satisfaction I receive from these things brings me back to my washer and dryer each week. It’s how I convey my love to my family; but no matter what laundry soap I use, I can’t eliminate every stain. Sometimes, even after I have deemed a shirt perfect and without blemish, I find a spot I have missed.
Sin is the same way. We work hard to keep it out of our lives, but yet it can still show up. Sometimes it stays hidden. We can remain blind to our sins and character flaws until God brings them to our attention through the Holy Spirit. Like my shirt that seemed bright white one minute, then looks more like a fifthly rag the next. Our lives look clean on a first glance, but how do they look in the light? How do we look to our Lord? God’s word clearly tells us that every human being is born into this world as a sinner. Romans 3:23 states,
“For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.”
Everyone means everyone that includes you and me. We all have sins that make us dirty, and dirty people are unworthy to enter the presence of the Lord. No matter how hard we work to clean up our lives, there is no way we can remove all our sins alone. We need help. And just like I would not leave my family buried in their own dirty clothes, God loves us too much to leave us lost in our sins. His wonderful plan includes a good washing. A sin cleansing that comes from the blood of Jesus. It’s His blood that makes us white as snow. I can’t wash clothes that aren’t in my laundry basket, and Jesus can’t forgive your sins if you don’t confess them. 1 John 1:9 tell us,
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
When we ask for forgiveness, by the grace of God, we are no longer spiritually unclean. This is a wonderful image of what God promises us in His word. If we come to him in faith, He will take our filthy rags and wash them clean. His blood is a powerful stain remover. Just like my son’s favorite shirt that shows up every wash day, we have those pesky sins that keep showing up. Whether our sins are small or great; whether few or many; whether done once or repeated; the blood of Christ can cleanse them all, every single one. There seems to be no limit to the amount of clothes my family can pile up in a week, and there is no limit on how many times you may ask forgiveness from God, even for the same sin. Of course, this should not encourage us to keep on sinning, but it should encourage us to have confidence when we approach God.
My problem is not that my family has too many dirty clothes, it’s that I worry I am not the right girl for the job. My mother has been, what I would call a superior laundress, under her loving care I have clothes in my closet from when I was in college. Our problem in coming to the Lord to obtain forgiveness is not that we have too much sin for Him to forgive, but that we have too little faith that He will forgive it. We tend to measure God’s mercy and justice by our own ability to forgive. If I judge my laundering abilities against my moms, to me, I will always come up short. Thankfully, God doesn’t do things by human standards, and like my mother’s loving care, God uses His love when He deals with our sin. Because of His infinite love, we can take Him at His word. We can trust Him, not our feelings of guilt and inadequacy. So, go to him and ask just as King David did, when he asked forgiveness in Psalm 51:1-2
“Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin.”
Although I can’t do anything but wash my weekly pile of dirty clothes, when we make this prayer and put our trust in him to clean every spot, not only will we experience God’s cleansing, but we will never have to worry about bringing our load to God’s laundry day again!