It’s a great time of year for kids and adults to play outside. It’s damp in the afternoons and the thick blanket of leaves are becoming a haven for jumping feet. The smell of smoke is beginning to work through the air. Fireplaces are revving up and final yard work is being attended to.
When kids play outside they get dirty. Grubby. Filthy. Usually their feet are the grubbiest. Who’d think that someone with shoes and socks on could have dirt between their toes and yet kids do. They’re covered but even the spots that are covered get dirty.
When kids are playing outside they rarely ever want to come in. Even as the dark of the fall evenings creeps into the yards, they want to stay out. They want to play forever. But eventually it’s time to insist they come inside. Mothers across the world whistle and call their children. After much calling, those playing kids drag in one by one. First thing is a nice warm bath. They resist. They’d rather keep playing.
Somewhere between shedding dirty clothes and scrubbing behind the ears kids have an epiphany. They suddenly realize the bath is good! Getting clean feels great! Supper tastes better and beds feel better when a kiddo is clean as a whistle. They end up crying because they have to leave the very tub they fought against just a few minutes earlier.
We are a lot like those kids – we believers. We enjoy our freedom in Christ. We play and enjoy and before we notice it we’ve gotten grubby. Even though we’re covered by the Blood of the Lamb, we’ve got dirt between our heart and His. We’ve been busy and we don’t hear the Father calling us into fellowship with Him. We don’t take time to keep in the Word. Finally we hear the Father calling, “Son come home”, “Daughter return to my fellowship”. We drag ourselves in, we see the dirt on our hearts and yet we resist. But as we go into sweet fellowship with the Father we find that we feel lighter, cleaner and refreshed. The washing of the water with the Word begins to do what only God can do – it makes us feel renewed. We will find that our meal will taste better and our rest will be sweeter.
God speaks to my heart: God is calling you. He’s calling me. And it’s a wonderful call into sweet communion with Him. He is such a wonderful Father that He has cleaned us thoroughly from sin’s penalty. But He loves us so much that He continually cleanses us from sin’s power. And one day we will be with Him and we will be totally liberated from sin’s presence. Oh what a wonderful day that will be.
If you are one who has ignored the call for a long, long time it’s not too late. Even if it’s grown quite dark and you aren’t sure if you will ever clean up again, God is ready and waiting with open arms and an Agape heart. Return, precious child, and watch as He renews your faith and restores your commitment to Him alone.
Maybe you’ve decided that you have to live with the soiled situation of your life. You tried to be a people pleaser, a good egg, a team player, a giver. You put others first, you worked hard, you gave it all and still you find yourself dealing with the dirt of life. You might have hung out with the wrong crowd (bad company, bad thinking, bad decisions) or loved someone who didn’t treat you with respect and honor. You may feel you have been left out in the dark to try to clean yourself up so you can go home. You’re hurt, you feel grimy and you’re not sure if you can return home. The load you carry is getting heavier and heavier and you don’t know if you can even make it. But God is calling you. The light is on and He’s waiting at the door to let you in. He’s held the door open for you all the while you’ve been out and He’s kept His eye on you all the time.
Oh beloved, run to the Word! Step inside the Father’s heart and read! His clean-up is gentle and His restoration is perfect – for your heart and your mind and your spirit. He is calling you in Love and His desire is to care for you all the rest of your days. Trust Him and walk with Him and watch as He renews everything for His glory in you! As you learn to seek His face every day you will find that your outlook is refreshed, your heart is renewed and your rest gets sweeter and sweeter.
God loves you and He’s for you and that’s why you’re accepted in His beloved forever.
Isaiah 44:22 I have swept away your sins like a cloud. I have scattered your offenses like the morning mist. Oh, return to Me, for I have paid the price to set you free.
Isaiah 50:4 The Sovereign Lord has given me His words of wisdom, so that I know how to comfort the weary. Morning by morning He wakens me and opens my understanding to His will.
Exodus 15:13 With Your unfailing love You lead the people You have redeemed. In Your might, You guide them to Your sacred home.
Psalm 84:4 What joy for those who can live in Your house, always singing Your praises.