Have you ever lived in a brand new house, one that’s just been built? I have, and it’s wonderful in so many ways. Everything is new and bright and easy to clean. Clean … for someone who doesn’t like cleaning, that’s the best. Of course, you still have to do regular housekeeping, but the deep-seated cleaning and maintenance issues related to an older house just aren’t there.
However, time goes by and things change. We have now been in out house for 16 years, and it’s really not a new house anymore. There’s a lot of outside cleaning and maintenance that needs to be done … that probably should have been done a few years ago. Like cleaning the moss off the roof and the grime and slime out of the gutters … they’re a mess. But there’s a problem.
I am not willing to get up on ladders and roofs to do that cleaning. And my husband … well, he’d love to, but he has quadriplegia, and uses a wheelchair. He’s not getting up on a ladder either.
And my husband … well, he’d love to, but he has quadriplegia, and uses a wheelchair. He’s not getting up on a ladder either.
So this past week we finally found someone to hire to do all our outside cleaning that’s so badly needed.
And it got me thinking as to how outdoor maintenance is a bit of an analogy for our life, although there are obvious limitations. While brand new little babies may sometimes seem so lovely and innocent, they – like all of us – are part of this sinful world. And it doesn’t take long for that sinfulness to show itself more and more. Sometimes it seems that the more we know how to do, the more ways we can also think of to do things wrong, to sin against God. In Psalm 130:3 it says:
If you, Lord, kept a record of sins,
Lord, who could stand?Psalm 130:3 (NIV)
And in Psalm 51:
For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.Psalm 51:3,5 (NIV)
Each and every one of our lives needs a good cleaning, a good washing. And, just like our house maintenance, we cannot do that cleaning ourselves. When it comes to cleansing your life of sin, you might as well be a guy in a wheelchair with dirty gutters … you’re not doing it yourself. But unlike our house maintenance, that cleaning of our lives cannot be done by a hired man with extension ladders and a pressure washer. You can’t look in the yellow pages … but there is a book you can look into. The Bible.
After Psalm 51 tells us about how sinful we are, it says: Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. … Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. …
And who does all that for us? Jesus Christ, who came to earth as a man, but was also God. He washed us clean by his blood when he died for us on the cross.
Still later in Psalm 51 it says: Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
This summer, I’ll be thankful for the maintenance being done on our house this spring … but I am eternally thankful for having my sins washed away by the blood of Jesus.