“Come now, let us reason together,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” – Isaiah 1:18
Can your children do something that would make you stop loving them? I can not fathom what that act would be. It would have to be outside the scope of any of my worst imaginations. That being said, I know I will love my son for all of my life.
Understanding that now that I am a parent makes me wonder why I have every questioned God’s love for me. The human race has done evil and wicked things and He still loves us. He made the choice to before the foundations of the world. He still wants to bring us into a good relationship with Him.
There was a time when Our boy was less than a year old that we had put him in his crib to play so we could get some stuff down around the house. He was a generally agreeable kind of little guy and we could have him play like that for a while and he would play a happily without much problem. We had been for about half an hour or so when I went in to check on him. I couldn’t believe what I saw.
There was…poop…smeared all over the bed, the sheets, and worse of all, all over a smiling little boy. I thank God that the boy had his pacifier in his mouth because there was poop smeared on the handle of it as well. He hadn’t gotten it in his mouth, whew! Gross only begins to explain the situation.
The best I can figure, we had reached into his diaper and had pulled out the bad stuff by the fistful. It amazes me that he did all of that and he didn’t fuss. Marixa and I gagged, but he didn’t fuss. He didn’t cry. He didn’t really know anything was wrong until we found him in it.
Has God every found you that way? Or course He has. The bible states that all have sinned and fall short of God’s glory. We were all lost in sin. Sin is dirty. Sin is nasty. Sin is the spiritual equivalent of poop. The beginning line of the old hymn Love Lifted Me describes it well, “I was sinking deep in sin, far from the peaceful shore…”
Let that sink in for a minute (no pun intended). I was sinking deep in sin, far from the shore. Sin is the spiritual equivalent of poop. I was sinking deep in the smelliest, dirties, most foul stuff. God lifted me out, and cleaned me up.
I took the lil guy and cleaned him up. Marixa went after the bed and the sheets and any other surface that the stuff had touched. We cleaned him up. We dressed him in a fresh diaper. We put fresh clothes on him. I may have sprayed cologne on him…ok I didn’t do that, but I think I wanted to. Though it was really gross, we loved him enough to lift him out.
Our sin separates us from God because God is holy and without sin. This presented God with a problem. We were dirty and lost in our sins. He loves us and wants us to be with him. He found us sitting in spiritual poop. He wanted to make us clean. He had to find a way for that to happen. His solution? He took our sin upon Himself so we could be made clean. So we could be made righteous. So we could be made holy. God made him who knew no sin to become sin for us, that through him we might be the righteousness of God.
I am glad to say that we have not found Big boy in such a state since. I don’t think we ever left him in his crib again after that to give him the chance! I said it earlier and I will say it again, I can’t believe he didn’t fuss about it then. It also does me some good to know that he did not choose to get that way on purpose. He was just being curious and it got messy.
Sometimes we don’t intend to get into situations where we get covered with the bad stuff. Unfortunately we are surrounded by it and it gets on us if we are not careful. The good news is that God can and will clean us up every time we ask. And we should ask often, because being close to him is the goal.
I am happy to say that the boy discovered that poop is really something that he does not like. (Whoever would have thought that would have been something to say you are happy about? Having kiddos changes things for the good!) I will illustrate with this story.
Once we dog sat for some good friends of ours. Their dog, who I lovingly refer to as the Big Yellow, was a beautiful Labrador retriever. She was a very good dog. She was also a big dog. At the time we had a dachshund and a basset hound. Big Yellow was bigger than both of them together, times 2.
When they dropped her off she was in the back yard doing what dogs do. We had gone out and came back and Marixa wanted to take big boy out into the back yard to play. You can probably see where this is going. He played for a while and it got to be time to come in for the evening. I called after him and he ran towards me fussing. This is not a normal thing for him. He never liked coming in, but this time he was upset. He looked like he had been playing in the dirt, which I knew he had, but I couldn’t figure out what was bothering him so bad.
I picked him up and carried him in and he fussed all the more. I took him back to the bathroom to get him washed up and then I discovered the problem. He had stepped in it. It was stuck in between his toes. It wasn’t dirt up and down his arms. He had tried to get it off of his foot, but he had smeared it all the worse. He couldn’t get clean without help. And make no mistake, he wanted help. He knew he had stepped in it and he wanted out of it.
When I step into something sinful, I want out. I don’t want to clutter up my life with things that are going to separate me from God. I don’t want the icky stuff stuck between my toes causing me discomfort. Just like my boy looked to me to get the stuff off of his feet, I look to God to cleanse me and make me new.
Truth be told, I wanted to get that stuff of him probably more than he wanted to get it off of himself, and he wanted it off pretty bad. As his dad, I don’t want him to get into the smelly stuff. He is much older now and is closer to when he will have to make decisions for himself and if he steps in it, he will have to make the decision to get clean. As a dad I want that for him. I want him to choose to be clean. We are long past the point of being able to clean him up against his will.
As we are covered in our sins, God is desperate for us to be clean. He provided a way for that to happen. If we will let him, he will clean us up. But, we have to want it. We have to want and accept the gift he gives us.
Who knew you could tell the gospel story through stories about poop?