A week. It has been raining for a week. No, that’s not a beard – it’s mold. I feel like we will never dry out. For anyone who lives in or has lived in, has visited or plans to visit, any country with a monsoon season – God bless you! You are better people than I!
Yesterday for about four hours the clouds broke and there was a funny shiny thing appearing in the sky. I took advantage of the moment and tried to sweep soggy leaves and pollen caterpillars off the deck before the dogs could completely decimate my floors. Of course in the process the deck broom became waterlogged and started just collecting the caterpillars but it was enough to feel like I had cleaned up a little.
I left the deck door open to get a little fresh air in the house and went about my daily tidying routine. I came down the hall with the vacuum to take on the livingroom rug when I saw Little Bit bringing the sludge filled deck broom into the house and doing her level best to “help” Mommy clean up the livingroom. She really was trying to sweep up a pile of toys dragging and pushing them around the floor and leaving streaks and pollen-pillars in her wake.
I never cease to be amazed at my children and their ability to cut to the core of my faith failings.
How often to I do the very same to God? Let me clean that up for you God! I can fix that bad habit in my own power. I can change that attitude. Really God! I’ve got this! Because a dirty broom is so useful when it’s time to clean.
Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; according to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against You, You only, I have sinned and done what is evil in Your sight. So that You are justified when You speak and blameless when You judge.
I come to this Psalm when I feel like I have failed God in the biggest possible ways. Not because I like to compare myself to David who had just been called on the carpet for adultery and murder but because there is such hope. Surrendering ourselves to God is the only way to be truly clean. We can’t clean it up ourselves. We can try to make reparations to those we have hurt with our sin. We can try to break the bad habits we fall into. But the surrender to the grace of God is the only genuine cleansing available. And it’s always available!
I love the verse 2 “Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity.” Wash is wash – right? I mean if you wash it, it’s clean, right? This line says to me, “Clean the broom out and then clean the room up.” Go all the way to the root of the problem God and make me right all the way through so that I don’t do this again.
David appeals to God five more times in the remaining verses to experience His cleansing. Over one conversation with Nathan about one series of sins, David is compelled to ask God to purify him seven times. If we confessed every sin in our lives seven times, we would be forever on our knees. Not that there is anything wrong with that – in fact, maybe that’s the very thing we need!
How gracious is our God to allow us to ask once! How loving and patient!
Psalm 103 1-14
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget none of His benefits; who pardons all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases; who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion; who satisfies your years with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle.
The Lord performs righteous deeds and judgments for all who are oppressed. He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the sons of Israel. The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness. He will not always strive with us, nor will He keep His anger forever. He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him for He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust.
Praise Him today that He doesn’t make us clean with a dirty broom! Praise Him that He doesn’t need a broom at all. He just needs our surrender.