Dirt

The green-yellow waves of pollen ripple through the air as I sit here to type.  It’s well over 90 degrees, and naptime isn’t happening.

We went outside and played with water and buckets — babies stripped down to their diapers are one of the world’s cutest sights, aren’t they?  We splashed and got muddy and ate watermelon and banana bread.

All the mud and stickiness came off in a swirl down the bathroom drain.  Levi banged his toys against the faucet, a new sound discovery that brought big grins and giggles.

I watched his joy and rinsed him clean, dried him off and sent him to play in his diaper.  He’s now sitting on the floor by me quietly flipping through his books, and I have to stop and pause.

The swirl down the drain, it’s a swirl that happens often.  Some days the water is mostly clear, some days it’s a bit brown with grime.  We rinse and dry that cute baby skin and let him go till he’s messy and dirty and it’s time for a bath again.

His naptime this afternoon hadn’t lasted long, and when he woke up screaming — twice — I could feel my frustration and anger start to rise.

Even this morning, before the day had much time to get going — little things brought irritation and I saw my lack of patience.

These little bits of myself that appear from day to day make me cringe.  The frustration, irritation, short-temperedness all stick to me.  They’re the little particles of dirt and dust, clinging to my skin and reminding me what a mess I am.  I hate them; daily I fall before God and ask Him to change me, make me better.  Forgive my dirt, my sin and uncleanness, and make me more like Himself: patient, long-suffering; not easily angered or irritated.

I watch that swirl in the bathtub and remember:

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.  Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

2 Corinthians 5:17-19

In Christ, I am new — He took all of my sins on Himself as He died on the cross, and He rose again to prove victorious; the only One who could ever conquer sin.

Try as I might I can’t make it go away.  I can’t get rid of the dirt all over me; I’ve tried, and I fail every time.  I end up smudging it and making it worse.  Yet He’s made me new and He cleans me as I lay it all before Him and ask Him for help.

He gladly lifts my head and shows me that He’s forgiven me, so I can forgive myself and move on.  I can try again, and if I lean on His strength I’ll make it through the struggle/temptation/hardship.  Even when I only get so far before I stumble again, He always gives me another chance when I look to Him.  His strength is sufficient, and His grace is amazing.

I pray that my swirl becomes clearer and clearer.  That I’ll lean more and more on His strength and watch Him make me like Himself; I want to be more like Him, and experience more of His joy and peace.  He is such a good, good Father.

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