Sunday, August 15, 2010

One of Max’s least favorite activities is bath time. He hates it. The moment I say, “Let’s give you a bath,” Max is hiding under the couch. Unfortunately, he doesn’t always give me choice.

Take, for example, last Saturday. My family and I were busy doing yard work. Max came outside with us, but since we couldn’t pay much attention to him, it wasn’t long before he found his way to the pasture. The cow pasture. Where the cows are. And the cow patties.

When I finally realized that Max wasn’t in the yard with us, it was too late. He’d found every mud puddle and cow pie in the area, and he wore the evidence proudly. Disgusted, I carried Max inside, at arm’s length mind you, and plunked him in the tub.

“Bad dog, Max,” I scolded as I scrubbed, and rinsed, and scrubbed some more. At last, I was able to wash away the stench. Max was clean, but not happy. The moment I lifted him from the bath, he bolted for the living room, dripping and shaking all the way.

What is about getting a bath that he hates so much? Why does my washing away the grime make him want to run and hide? Can it be he’s actually content to wallow in the filth?

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that was exactly right, and we are not much different. Our sins cling to us, covering us in an unholy stench that must disgust our God and Savior. Yet, He does not hold us at arm’s length. Instead, He bids us come to let Him wash away our sin, and though the process can be uncomfortable, I’m learning to love bath time.

Psalm 51:1-7 (New International Version)

For the director of music. A psalm of David. When the prophet Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba.

1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.

2 Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.

3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.

4 Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge.

5 Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.

6 Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place.

7 Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.


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