Three of my girls are looking ratty. It’s halfway through the summer and they are a stinky, hot mess. The temperature outside is in the 90’s and it is a perfect day for a bath in the sunshine.
The water is cool, straight from the hose into the bucket. The first two hens fight me a little but eventually give in and let me wash away all the mud and muck that chickens acquire living in a flock in my backyard, especially when you’re at the bottom of the pecking order. Chickens on the bottom roost get pooped on a lot from the chickens above them!
Then I get to Coco.
She offers me very little resistance; she lets me catch her quickly. She knows she’s dirty. Some of her feathers are stuck together. She’s always on the bottom rung these days and I wonder if she is tired of fighting the pecking order. I think she just wants to get clean.
Can you blame her?
When we come to our Master, we can be a stinkin’ mess sometimes, too! There are all sorts of things sticking to us and it can be pretty ugly. Sin always is, even when we are the casualties and exhibit the residue of someone else’s sin.
When we are willing and obedient, God picks us up easily in those giant hands of His. He’s not worried about the mess; He is confident His Son can help. And then He shows us our lives from His point of view.
“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. If you are willing and obedient, you will eat of the best from the land; but if you resist and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword.” Isaiah 1:18-20
God is talking to Isaiah about the nation of Israel in this passage but there are ties to make for us spiritually, too. Resisting or forsaking God, we walk away from Him.
What does rebellion bring? Destruction. Devastation. Broken relationships, broken fellowship, broken lives.
I have one bad chicken, Cleo. If I could catch her, she might just be devoured by the sword and put into a pot of chicken noodle soup…
What does obedience bring? When we turn back to God, everything can change. WE can change. He can cleanse us if we let Him.
“Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin…Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.” Psalm 51:1, 7
I lift Coco from the tub. The water is filthy. Stuff is floating; there is sediment on the bottom of the bucket as I empty it onto the grass. Nasty. When I am finished, I wash my hands up to my elbows with lots of hot, soapy water.
Coco is happily drying herself in the sun, preening her feathers with what I imagine to be relief on her little chicken face. As a dark brown Partridge Cochin, she doesn’t look “white as snow” but she is one clean bird! And that night, I noticed she wasn’t on the bottom rung at bedtime. She positioned herself up higher on the next roost and stood her ground.
Maybe we just need a little help to stand our ground, too. Where do we turn when life gets dirty? What do you do when you need help? Who or what is your source for strength? Where can we go to be cleansed?
The answer is always Jesus, our Lord, who saves us and cleans us up again and again.
If you need some encouragement, please comment. I would love to pray with you.
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