Overwhelmed with messiness, I approach the throne of grace.
Lord, I’ve got some dirty clothes here, a big ‘ole pile. I’ve left a trail behind me; it’s too much to hold. Somewhere in here is some stink; some dirt; some puke – I’m sure you could smell it a mile away, before I brought it to you. More than once this week I threw up on some people; launched orphan-toned, angry, defensive words at them. They threw up on me too, but everything’s mixed up and I can’t sort it out. I tried for a while, but that just left me tangled up like Lucifer chasing Gus-Gus in Cinderella. I want to get my heart fixed, unencumbered, clean. I want to take responsibility to wash out the stains I set. I’m at a loss, so I come to Mercy, all my dirty laundry exposed before you. What do I do?
Give it all to me, girl. Let me wash it all. Remember, you could never get all these stains out on your own efforts – not even with OxiClean! I see your heart, how afraid you are of causing messes in the lives of others, and your desire to own what’s yours. I’m pleased you don’t want to hide your own blemishes from me. And I love that you are here – you get to trade in for a major upgrade in your old thinking! You are taking me at my word, that I’m really good at making everything clean and new. I know you’re not too keen on doing laundry, but it’s one of my favorite jobs! Truly, I’d love to clean this whole pile.
Warning: giving me this pile means I get to upgrade your wardrobe. I’ll be throwing old orphan clothes away, as far as the east is from the west. I’ll gift you with new garments, so fine and clean and rich you may be embarrassed to wear them. Prepare your heart for something better, my bride. When I’m done, we can sort through the hamper together, and I can help divide out what belongs to you and what belongs to others. We can mend what’s come loose and you can get comfortable in your new clothes. It will be beautiful.
Are you sure, God? The King of Glory doing my laundry for me? You don’t have to stoop to such menial tasks. I can take care of it if you’ll just show me how…
Well, you could try to clean yourself… but don’t you think I’d do a much better job? Don’t you want to live in the newness of life I’ve already paid for you to wear? And don’t you think I know what’s best for the others? Remember, I love you. I gave myself up for you to make you holy, to cleanse you by washing with water through my word, to present you to me as a radiant bride without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish – holy and blameless.
Ah, yes, you’re right. I could never get them clean enough anyway. I’m humbled, amazed. I do believe you love me this much – help me in the ways I don’t believe! Wash me. It’s your job to prepare me to be your bride; it’s your job to do my laundry. I do trust you to this well.
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…
Create in me a clean heart, O God; restore within me a sense of being brand new.
Injustice overwhelms me!
But You forgive our sins, restoring as only You can.
You invite us near, drawing us
into Your courts—what an honor and a privilege!
We feast until we’re full on the goodness of Your house,
Your sacred temple made manifest.
Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings,
having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience
and having our bodies washed with pure water.
Husbands, love your wives, just as 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.