I have 3 children and a husband to help make plenty of messes-not to mention the fact that I live here too! (And I may or may not help contribute to our messiness...)
I told my husband just this week that we should move. He said "Why?" I told him, "So we can move away from all this stuff, and all this MESS!" I have heard it said once, "To try to clean while there are children at home is like trying to shovel the snow before the blizzard is over." I completely relate with that statement! Never the less, I still try to clean up around here.
A while back when I was sweeping one afternoon, God showed me an amazing illustration. To get the full effect, you have to know a little about where we live. We have 4 large windows on the front of our house, and the house faces due West. I have seen some of the most spectacular sunsets from our living room. This day, instead of sitting comfortably and watching as the earth turned it's face away from the sun, I was sweeping our dining room in the next room over.
The gorgeous, bright orangey-purple rays were pouring into the room and reached to where I was sweeping. As I was dragging another pile of yuck toward the dust pan, something caught my eye. It was a little colony of crumbs that I had not yet swept up. As the rays of sun hit those crumbs, I noticed the shadows cast by those tiny, little crumbs were tall, dark figures devoid of light, and they were so much larger than the crumbs.
It hit me that our sin can be just like that. When we aren't looking at our sins in the light of the Word of God, they can seem so small and insignificant. Until the light of the truth of the Bible exposes our sins to us, we might not even see them. As I think of that fact, these verses come to mind:
19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.
20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed.
21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God."
I am so glad that by the gospel I have seen the "crumbs" of sin in my life-though they are not merely crumbs to God. My sin is what compelled God to send Jesus to die as a sacrifice for wicked people. Apart from that, I would be an enemy of God and on my way to destruction. In the light of His truth, God shows me the blackness of my sinful heart and exposes my evil deeds.
Now let's work backwards from the same passage in John, we can see what God offers to us by the death of Jesus:
16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
We were ALL condemned in Adam. Adam made a choice in the Garden to disobey God, and his choice corrupted the bloodline of humanity. BUT the blood of Christ offers restoration to all. Observe:
17 For if, because of one man's trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.
18 Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men.
19 For as by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man's obedience the many will be made righteous.
20 Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more,
21 so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Our sins are great, but the work Jesus did is so much greater. It is great enough to obscure our wickedness from God's view, no-more than that-it removes our trespasses through marvelous ABOUNDING GRACE!! How wonderful is that?
Sin is "in the genes", so to speak. As I see my little ones grow up, it is very clear to me they have one person in mind most of the time. I'll bet you can guess who they think about most often. It is themselves. From birth, we do nothing but seek to please ourselves. The thought of pleasing someone else, let alone our Creator, can be so foreign to us. By seeking to do our own will, we can clearly see that our bent is not toward God Almighty. Our sinfulness reigns supreme in our hearts.
But as God shows us His will through His law (rules) for us, it becomes clear that we just can't keep it. Maybe we can get "some of it right some of the time", but as the saying goes, we definitely can't get "all of it right all of the time!" So, as we see the infinite number of sins we have in His sight, we can praise God in Jesus because He obeyed perfectly! The best part? Well, by faith we can claim the obedience of Jesus as our own! That is a reassuring thought for a completely imperfect and disobedient rebel, such as myself!!
Now-back to my initial complaint. (Yes, I was sort of complaining about cleaning...) So maybe, just maybe, I can thank God for the crumbs that are all over my floor. If crumbs can lead to big thoughts about God and His grace, then I suppose cleaning before the blizzard is over isn't so bad after all...
Written that the name of Jesus be praised,