Isaiah 66:1-2 – Thus says the Lord: "Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool; what is the house that you would build for me, and what is the place of my rest? All these things my hand has made, and so all these things came to be, declares the Lord. But this is the one to whom I look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word." (ESV)
One recent morning, I cleaned the cooker. It had been looking reproachfully at me for some time. You know, likely, how it is: despite the best intentions, muck becomes stuck to the surface. Life passes by, and, slowly at first, but progressively, the stains become encrusted onto the cooker. The more stains and spillages, the more they become caked to those already there, and the harder they become to remove.
As I stood in front of the cooker, admiring my handiwork, I became aware of a story being unfolded in my spirit.
Slowly at first, like the stains on the cooker, sins and wrong attitudes of life accumulate, and the longer they are left to latch on, the more they become ingrained, and the harder they are to shift.
Similarly, my lack of faith, impatience, and selfish perspectives accrue and niggle me as I review my heart's desires. I want to be blameless and worthy, a hero. Yes, this is just my pride bursting for a fall, and I know whence those thoughts come.
Ephesians 2:8-9 – For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. (ESV)
I rejoice in this truth, because otherwise I might think that it is by my efforts alone that I succeed, rather than by grace. Daily I seek to serve with my God-given gifting, and I become hot and bothered, splattered, stained, and made a mess of. Sometimes I get burnt and chipped.
It is good to know that we are a part of God's house. His grace alone is sufficient to make us all sparkly clean. God watches, and our stains niggle at Him too.
He wants us clean, so that people can see His face in our reflection.
Prayer: Lord, we bring to You today our stained, chipped, and dented lives. Cleanse us, and restore us once more to the intimacy of Your loving care. Speak Your life-giving Word into our minds and souls to remove the stains of our experience. Bring back to us the clarity of life in our beings, that we might in some way reflect Your love to the places and people to whom You take us today. Amen.