A Blackened Mess

 

Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy. –Proverbs 28:13 NIV

When I bought a self-cleaning range, I thought I’d have a nice, clean oven without all the work. All I had to do was push a few buttons and let the range do the job.

But after 20 years, the self-cleaning feature stopped working. Which meant if I wanted the burned-on remains of spilled lasagna sauce and an upended pizza gone, I’d have to carve out the time and apply the elbow grease myself.

Who has the time for that?

So I let it go, and my once shiny oven became blacker with each use.

Before Thanksgiving I caved in and called the service department where I bought the range. Unfortunately, there was no simple fix. In fact there was no fix at all for a range that old. But an over-the-counter oven cleaner would work just fine, the storeowner told me.

But he hadn’t seen the burned-on, blackened messes.

So I let it go. I just had too much to do to take the time to clean the oven the old-fashioned way. After the holidays I’d tackle the messy job.

Thankfully all the holiday baking and roasting was done when something happened that put the oven out of commission.

Since my youngest son, David, was coming for Christmas Eve with his girlfriend and her parents, and David’s birthday was the day after Christmas, DH baked David a birthday cake. We wanted it to be a surprise, so before we left for church, he hid the cake in the oven. Two number-3 candles rested atop the plastic cover.

After the church service, David and company arrived home before we did. He didn’t know about the hidden cake when he preheated the oven to make something for our meal.

So while he beat out the flames with a metal spatula, Dean and I opened the windows and patio door, and got the fans going to disperse the smoke.

The cake was fine. The cover was a little melted, but still usable. But the candles! Suffice to say we wouldn’t be using the oven until the mother of all oven messes was cleaned up.

Which DH did last Saturday.

I’m like that oven. With use, I, too, become dirty. My “inner person” that is. Even though I received Jesus as my Savior, even though my sins are forgiven and my guilt washed away. Even though the Holy Spirit resides within me, I still fight my human nature. It doesn’t rule me, understand—but I still have the choice to obey or not to obey God.

And sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I let my emotions take over and say things I shouldn’t. Or allow my resentment to simmer until it boils over into anger. Or I avoid doing something I know I should.

Although we don’t come with a self-cleaning feature, we do have a simple way to remove the sin that blackens our souls—before it becomes a burned-on, hardened mess. It’s called confession.

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9 NKJV).

Forgiveness and cleansing—I need these daily. And to get them, all I have to do is ask.

Thank You, Lord, for providing the way for my sins to be forgiven. All I have to do is ask. Amen.

Read and meditate on Psalm 32

Other Scripture to think about:

“Come now, let us settle the matter,” 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.” – Isaiah 1:18

As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.. – Ps. 103:12

He will again have compassion on us, And will subdue our iniquities. You will cast all our sins Into the depths of the sea. – Micah 7:19

© 2018 Michele Huey. All rights reserved.

 

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