We've lived in our house nearly nine years and the upstairs carpet has seen some wear. A dog has been house trained. Two kids have been potty trained, learned to walk, and use sippy cups. Not to mention the regular wear of daily foot traffic.
Because of its color, blemishes show easily. To say it's ready to be replaced is an understatement and each time I sit in the recliner to rock the baby or take time to write I find my eyes focussed in on the spots. They are annoying. They detract my house from being what I want it to be.
I just want them gone.
Realizing my frustration, my wonderful husband came to the rescue. While I helped Grace on her science project (which rocks by the way but more on that another time), he pulled out the carpet cleaner and went to work. Slowly and purposefully, he ran the machine over all of the carpets. When he approached a stain, he spent extra time working the trouble spot.
I found myself mesmerized. There is something oddly gratifying about seeing the brown sludge...more than I ever realized was there...filling up the machine. And, as that happened, the carpet was of bathed of its impurities. It was clean.
I was shocked. I seriously thought it was beyond hope. Yet here the carpet was free of the impurities that defiled its beauty.
God does the same with us.
You know those words you said to your child last week when you lost your temper and apologized for but still feel bad about? You know that addiction you've conquered but still let hinder your relationships? You know the fear that weighs you down from reaching for your goals because of past failures? You know that sexual sin you turned away from but still let define your worth? You know the embarassment you hold onto because of a relationship lost? You know the mental tape that says the clothes look better on the Loft hanger than on you or that you're not a good enough wife, friend, employee...and the list goes on. You know the "blemishes" inside that have become so much a part of you that you feel you can't be the person you want to be?
Good news! He makes all things new.
God is the master soul cleaner.
Just when we think who we are is forever marred God's spirit descends upon us and (with our desire) gently works on the stains of life. Sludge from sin is extracted and we are made as white as snow. When we evaluate ourselves unfairly against society's standpoint of perfection or when tainted mindsets tell us wrongly who we aren't when we've been wronged, God's whisper reminds us that we are a new creation.
We see ourselves in a new light.
And we should live in the hope His work (and relationship with us) makes possible.
I have a tendency to hold on to my "blemishes" - some real, some perceived. But, God says, "Let it go! Look again! I've made you beautiful."
And He says the same to you.