Sunday, 18 October 2009
Sometimes you don’t realize how dirty something is until you clean it. I was in the bathroom today, getting ready to take a shower, when I noticed that the toilet could be a little cleaner. So I got out my cleaning stuff and went to work. I had already started cleaning, I might as well continue, right? Well, I looked over past the toilet and noticed that the shower could be a little cleaner. Matthew works late and usually takes a shower right when he gets home. “I bet he’d enjoy a sparkling clean shower,” I thought to myself. So I began to clean the shower.
We store our cleaning supplies for the bathroom beneath the sink. So, after the shower was clean, I walked over to the sink and began putting stuff away. The sink looked clean until I set a wet sponge down on it. The area where the water was began to shine and it was then that I noticed that the sink was actually filthy. So I cleaned it off.
My mind is rarely still; it likes to wander. If I’m not singing in my head, I’m thinking about something in my life. Maybe that’s why cleaning the sink made me think about God and forgiveness.
Actually, this thought started earlier in the day. I was driving down the road, thinking about the verse in Psalms that says that God casts your sin as far from you as the east is to the west if you are His child. Sometimes I ask for forgiveness for things, but I still remember the sin that I did. So I ask forgiveness again. Sometimes I find that I keep asking God for forgiveness, in hopes that one day I will forget that sin.
If my sin is that I said something hurtful to someone, I ask God for forgiveness (and often that person, too), but the memory of that sin sticks in my head.
I was thinking today about how asking forgiveness is an act that we do. And God, in return, washes away our sin – but He doesn’t wash away our memory of that sin. Sins and memories are two completely different things. I guess that memory is like a scar – a sin memory is like an invisible scar that won’t go away, because scars just don’t leave. And I guess having such “scars” is good because it reminds us not to do the same thing in the future.
God doesn’t require that we FEEL forgiven. He just requires that we ask for forgiveness. And that’s so very comforting – that I know I am forgiven even if I still feel bad about what I did.
But, back to the sink thoughts: I wonder how many people don’t stop throughout the day or even at the end of the day to confess all of their sins to God and ask to be forgiven for them. And, if we aren’t taking the time to point out those sins to ourself and ask forgiveness, how many of us are deceived by the illusion of cleanness – how many of us don’t realize how many filthy things we have done throughout the day because we don’t ever take the time to “clean up”; to let God wash us white as snow. There could be some really filthy people among us - and I'm sometimes included in that group!
Do you have sin scars? Have you asked God for forgiveness, but don't feel forgiven sometimes? How do you get over them?