God’s laundry room
Reading: Psalm 51
Nothing prepared me for the amount of laundry a tiny newborn baby can generate! They go through so many little vests and sleep suits that the washing machine has to go on overdrive! And it just gets worse and worse, as they get older!
I suppose we shouldn’t complain – at least we have washing machines! And there is a certain amount of satisfaction in seeing their little clothes clean and freshly folded.
But I wonder how many of us need a trip to God’s laundry room. The psalmist David wrote:
‘Generous in love – God, give grace!
Huge in mercy-wipe out my bad record.
Scrub away my guilt,
soak out my sins in your laundry. I know how bad I’ve been;
my sins are staring me down’
(Psa 51:1-3 The Message)
‘Soak me in Your laundry and I’ll come out clean, scrub me and I’ll have a snow-white life’
For in God’s eyes,the sin in our lives is much worse than the dirtiest of soiled baby clothes:
‘We’ve sinned and kept at it so long! Is there any hope for us? Can we be saved? We’re all sin-infected, sin-contaminated. Our best efforts are grease-stained rags’ (Isa 64:5&6 – The Message)
‘For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God’
(Rom 3:23 – NIV)
When we come to God through Jesus and trust Him as our Saviour, He has promised to remove our sins:
‘He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.’(Psa 103:10-12 – NIV)
All our sin, our failings and shortcomings are forgiven and forgotten because of God’s great love for us.
Our God says:
“I have swept away your offences like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you”
‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool’ (Isa 1:18-NIV)
No sin,no matter how big it appears to us is too big to be forgiven.
David wrote Psalm 51 after committing adultery with Bathsheba, then having her husband killed. (See IISam ch 11 &12)
If we pour out our heart to God, ‘if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (I John 1:9 – NIV)
I like the start of a new year-a fresh start;a year as yet untouched and unblemished-like freshly fallen, pure white snow covering the ground. Yet God’s love gives us so much more than a new start in life – it gives us a new life to start when we trust in Him. We are new creations. We ‘are not the same anymore, for the old life is gone. A new life has begun!’ (II Cor 5:17 – NLT)
As we all know from experience, we don’t stop falling short and messing up once we become Christians. We all have days when we feel like lousy parents and lousy Christians. ‘I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.’ (Rom 7:15 – NIV)
Just like our children’s clothes, our lives get dirty again and we need many, many trips to God’s laundry room to be cleaned – to be steeped in His awesome loving grace and mercy.
Again and again we need to come before our God and ask for forgiveness.
‘God, make a fresh start in me, shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life. Don’t throw me out with the trash, or fail to breathe holiness in me’
(Psa 51: 10 &11 – The Message)
May David’s prayer be the prayer of our heart today:
‘Create in me a clean heart, O God.
Renew a right spirit within me.
Do not banish me from your presence,
and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me again the joy of your salvation,
and make me willing to obey you’
(Psa 51:10-12 –NLT)
‘Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered’ (Psa 32:1-NIV)