For the last few weeks, I have been watching videos on RN Media that is preparing me for Easter. Each one is more moving than the last one.
In the last video, I was watching Kyle Idleman. He was sharing a story about the light colored couch he and his wife had bought. It was in the living room. One day he or his wife went into the room and was straightening the cushions. One of them was different. So as they turned the cushion over to put it back like it should be they noticed a stain. It was not just an ordinary stain it was pink fingernail polish. They called the girls in and asked who was the culprit. One of the girls couldn’t hold back and ran out of the room sobbing. Kyle goes after her and finds her in her closet, her head between her knees and sobbing. He holds her close and just lets her cry. Finally, they go down to the living room and she confesses to her mom. The child finally looks up at her mom and asks the question all parents have heard at some point, “Do you still love me?” This mother bends down, wraps her arms around her daughter and says, “You cannot create a big enough stain to make me stop loving you.”
He reminded me that we all live with or have lived with stains in our lives. We have all done something we regret. We have all done something that we wish we could blot out of our lives and our memory.
I am proud of this child. She admitted to messing up. How many times has our child tried to point the finger at a sibling or a friend? They try to pass the blame onto someone else. How many times have I tried to pass the blame onto someone else? We learn early that it’s okay to pass the blame. We find Eve passing the blame in Genesis 3:13, “Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What have you done?” And the woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” Before Eve blames the serpent we find Adam blaming Eve in verse 12, “the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” We instantly go into the blaming mode when we’ve done something wrong. Not only did our stain appear when we did something wrong, but it gets bigger when we blame an innocent person for something we did.
If we don’t play the blame game, then we, just like this child, try to hide our mistakes. We learned from Kyle this was a stain that had happened several days before. She turned the cushion over and hoped no one would notice. How many times do we try to cover up our mistakes? We might even go to the extreme point of lying to cover up our mistakes. We hope no one will ever find out. As a child, I learned quickly, it was best if I told the truth instead of hiding the truth. I have had children and grandchildren, for whatever reason, do poorly on a test or homework. They come home from school and try to hide the paper. It never worked with my parents, me or my daughters raising their children.
It doesn’t work with God either. Psalm 44:21 tells us this about God: “Would not God find this out? For He knows the secrets of the heart.” Even if we could hide it from our parents, family, and friends we can’t hide it from God. He knows it all. Just like confessing to our parents is always the best answer; confessing before God is even better.
I don’t know what happened to Kyle’s daughter. There might have been some punishment or maybe they thought she had punished herself enough. What I do know is her parents still loved her. God is the same way. He loves us no matter how big our stain is or how often we sin. God loves us. He looks past the sin and he hears us say, “Do you still love me?” He gets down on his knees and like this mother, he says to us today, “There is nothing you can do to keep me from loving you. Nothing will ever separate my love from you.” We are reminded, “And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39
God doesn’t stop there. He offers us the gift of grace. He takes that stain and removes it from our lives. Through grace, our lives have been made clean again. The stain on the couch is a visible sign that this child messed up. It will be a constant reminder for her and her family. God is different. Through his grace, he touches our lives and the stain is gone. It’s gone from his memory and it should be gone from ours. We no longer have to live with the memory. We don’t have to hide it and we certainly don’t have to blame others because simply put….it’s gone.
As we prepare for Easter, I encourage you to look to Jesus to help you deal with that stain in your life. Don’t be afraid to come to Jesus with that stain. He will simply put his arms around you and say to you, “you can’t create a big enough stain for me to stop loving you. I love you just as you are.”
Jesus is waiting for you to come and confess. Don’t let the stain grow deeper or get any bigger. Quit hiding the stain. He’s waiting for you.
Dear God: I have had stains in my life that I wanted to blot out or hide or to blame others for. I am sure there is a stain growing today that I need to confess to. Help me come to you with an honest approach and confess to you. Help me be willing to accept the consequences you have for me knowing you will also be offering me the gift of grace. Help me to understand there is nothing I can do that will turn your love away from me. Help me as I strive to not only love you more deeply each day but to follow you all the days of my life. Amen