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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Cleanse and Clean

The word ‘cleanse’ and ‘clean’ are used multiple times throughout the Old and New Testaments. Psalm 51:2 states, “Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!”

One day I decided to wash my ‘not-so-dirty’ kitchen curtains. What I wasn’t prepared for is that I did not know how to operate my new washing machine. My curtains were of the delicate kind – the kind that the manufacturer probably says, “We always recommend hand washing all lace curtains for the best results.” But, I wanted to try the quick, easy, and risky approach by washing them in my new washing machine. I convinced myself my machine had cycles appropriate for the lace fabric. The major problem I encountered was due to the fact I never read the instruction book on how to operate the machine. In addition to that, I did not look for the care instructions on the curtains.

To start with - I put way too much detergent in my machine which was evidenced by an extraordinary amount of suds! The suds were pouring out of my machine onto the kitchen floor – nice white fluffy suds - EVERYWHERE! In my endeavor, I started with the ‘Baby Care’ cycle. But, I soon realized I couldn’t open the washing machine door at the end of the cycle, I assumed the child lock was on. But, do you think I would know how to open the child lock? Absolutely not! Not wanting to spend the time to read the instruction book, I continued with my own plan. When the ‘Baby Care’ cycle finished, I started the ‘Delicate’ cycle in hopes that magically the door would open when the cycle had run its course. When the door wouldn’t open after the ‘Delicate’ cycle, I thought the third time would be a charm, so I started the ‘Quick 30 Minute’ cycle. When the door wouldn’t open after the ‘Quick 30 Minute’ cycle, I turned on the ‘Rinse-Spin’ cycle. Finally, at the end of that cycle, the door unlocked. So, my ‘not-so-dirty delicate curtains’ went through 4 unnecessary cycles of wash.

My washing machine had a clear glass window in the front. So, as I sat and watched my curtains go around and around through each cycle, I thought about how much God needs to clean us up sometimes. We might think we just need a little ‘rinse and spin’, but He knows if we need to go through the big, heavy-duty cycles like the ‘Synthetic’ or the ‘Blanket’ cycles. And just as I observed that day, God is going not going to let us go. He will keep cleansing and cleaning us up until he is ready to finally open the door and say, “That’s enough for now my child!”

But, what if I had read the instruction book? Would I have saved time and not put myself through so much worry, concern, time loss, or unnecessary cycles? I believe I would have.
So, today, let’s take out the Word of God (our instruction book) and read it. Let’s ask God to show us our sin and where we fall short; let us confess our sins; and let Christ to forgive us and cleanse us. And maybe, just maybe, our frustration will lessen and our time can be used more wisely.

My curtains had a happy ending. They were clean and white as snow when finished. God can clean us up also - Let Him.

God bless you.
Patti Greene

Bible Verses:
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 like crimson, they shall become like wool.
Isaiah 1:18 ESV

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:9 ESV

Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!
Psalm 51:2 ESV

Dear Heavenly Father, Please keep me in Your Word daily. Let me read it for instruction on how to live my life. Let it be my guide and direction for every step I take in life. Let me continually see my sin and confess it daily, so that I will not have to go through a big hard cleansing all at one time. Protect me Lord and keep me grounded in You and Your Word. Amen.

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Books by Patti Londa Greene

Awaken Me: a devotional prayer journal

God, It’s Me: 181 Days for Young Adults to Become Passionate about Prayer and Bible Study