Stains and Devils

There's an unwritten (though oft spoken) rule in our house. My husband coined it, and my kids swear to it. The rule is this:

When something is spilled, it is either I who has spilled
or someone else has spilled on me.

I have learned to face the ugly truth:
I am a mess-magnet.

If you hear a crash in a restaurant, you can be sure that I am sitting nearby. When my dog hears me squeal "Oh no!" she makes a beeline for wherever I am, knowing that she might get a lucky mess to slurp off the floor.

This week, I exchanged an ill-fitting Christmas gift for a pretty new coat. I have always had black coats, yet for some reason, this pale pink faux shearling caught my eye. My daughter said it's the ugliest thing she's ever seen (she hates pink), and my husband thought it looks like pigskin, no not football pigskin leather, but a real pig's skin. Despite their blistering fashion critique, I loved it.

I wore it the next day. As we were returning home, my husband asked me if I knew that there was blue ink all over the front of the brand new coat. The blood drained from my face when I saw the mass of squiggley road-map-blue lines staining the front of the coat. "That's why you always have black coats," said my astute husband.

So to deal with the crisis, I sought wise, experienced counsel.

Unfortunately, the trip to the dry cleaners confirmed my worst suspicions.

There was no hope.

But wait....

On my laundry room shelf was a product that had worked for me before (remember I am Stains 'R Us).

Carbona Stain Devils

Good Christians everywhere avoid this product because of its name. Who wants a devil in their house?
But unlike that other devil, these devils remove stains.

Using #3 - the ink/crayon devil, I carefully followed the instructions, blotting out the ink and voila! No more stain!
Can you hear the Hallelujah chorus in the background as I jump around the laundry room?

And can you figure out where I'm going with this?

"God's Stain Removal Guide"
After King David’s sin was exposed, he was filled with remorse. He cried out to the Lord asking for cleansing and renewal, asking for his stains to be removed. “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…. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” Psalm 51:1-2, 10

Though a murderer, David’s sins were no greater or worse than mine or yours. All sin separates us from God (Is. 59:2). But in His love and desire to be reunited with us, God got into the cleaning business.

He set up a sacrifice system under the law to cover sins, but then, Jesus came and paid the cleaning bill in full.

For our possessions, there are stain-devils to remove all kinds of stains, even blood.

But for His precious possession - us - He used His blood to remove our stains and to overcome the devil.

The stains on my pink coat rendered it useless, good only for the garbage heap, but with the cleansing, it is now a useful, functional asset to my wardrobe. When we’ve been cleansed and renewed, we become useful, functional assets to His kingdom.

"...Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to Himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. Eph. 5:26-27

(Ooooo, He removes our stains and our wrinkles! )

It's a good thing for a mess-magnet like me that God is in the cleaning and renewal business. It may have appeared that there was no hope for me, but that wasn't the truth. He longs for us to be restored to Him.
So, my friend, how has He restored and used you?



Nancy said...

oh that was a good one!!

quietspirit said...

This is an EXCELLENT post.

Julie said...

love this!! :) (not the pink coat ewww Susan!!!... haha but the message!!)

Linda said...

love the way you tell a story...kind of like Seinfeld episode when you wonder where it is heading but then, everything comes together in the end :)


Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Susan-

I sometimes hone in on a fashion item everyone else thinks is ugly. I say, "go for the pink coat!"

It's nice that the Lord not only does the "big cleaning," but we can go to Him for the "spot cleanings" we need. (I John 1:9)


Cathy said...

"Thank God" for stain removers. I was gasping as I read this story, feeling like the gift exchange was useless, and then I pictured you dancing around the laundry room after using the Carbona Stain Devil. What a great story (especially since I'm aware of the little details) and what a great way to relate it to God's cleaning and renewal service! I loved it!