I have two teenage boys. Combine that with white clothes, and…..yup, you get the picture. Dirty clothes, all the time! I am convinced that even if the t-shirts or socks stay clean and white, the wearer feels it necessary to soil the item, just on principle. Sometimes, I can’t even identify the crud and muck that is attached to their clothes. I’m pretty sure that I don’t want to know what food has been ground in and how long it has been attached to the clothes that I am examining. I am most certain that I don’t want to inhale the aroma that I refer to as “the stink” as it permeates the house. A mother’s love truly knows no limits, although my limits frequently come close to being breached. This morning was no exception. I had laundry baskets lined up and ready to start sorting this morning. Before I could even get to my older son’s pile, the overwhelming stench of ripe mildew almost drew tears from my eyes. Yuck!
I know that I have told my son that wet swimming trunks and clothes need to be hung to dry before placing with other clothes. He studied the process of mold creation in science. This is not a new concept to my child. It is amazing to see the disconnect between cleanliness and my son. I will most certainly deal with him later, but for the moment I bit my tongue and dug into the dirt. A little pre-wash, some laundry soap, a generous dousing of Clorox and 45 minutes later……white clothes! Almost as good as new but a slight dinge still remained. Sometimes I have been able to get close to the original white, but the creative stains that have found their way into my laundry are just too strong to completely disappear.
This process got me thinking. I am that dirty shirt. Maybe I don’t carry the stains on the outside where they are visible to the human eye, but without a doubt, I am a filthy rag. “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.” Isaiah 64:6 (NIV). Obviously, I am speaking metaphorically, but there is never a day that I have not piled dirt into my life. Sometimes the dirt may take the form of impatience with other drivers (this is a definite occurrence on a daily basis), other times I may lose my temper (this one, too). Regardless of the enormity or smallness of my uncleanliness, dirt is dirt. In order to become clean, I need to be washed. Just as my laundry cannot wash itself, neither can I clean myself. I am not capable. Only One who is perfectly clean can perform this action. Psalm 51:7 says, “wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.” (NIV) Even the strongest, industrial strength Clorox cannot make something whiter than snow.
When I believed in the death and resurrection of Jesus as the penalty for my sins, He washed me perfectly clean. This is a promise I can claim for all eternity! I am His and He is mine. How beautiful and precious is this gift of clean clothes! I am so thankful that I am washed by His blood and the stains, stink and dirt is forever gone and completely forgotten!
“I will cleanse them from all the sin they have committed against me,” Jeremiah 33:8 (NIV).
“I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions, for My own sake, and remembers your sins no more.” Isaiah 43:25 (NIV)