Remember how I told you last week about my daughter’s new shoes? Well, those shoes had quite an adventure this weekend. We decided to go on a family hike, and I had the bright idea to let my daughter wear her brand new shoes (in my defense, the old ones do have holes in the toes, and you’ll soon see that would have been worse).
I guess it was a couple of weeks too early for this particular hike, because the trail was covered in deep mud. It started out as just a little mud. Then our son got stuck in it. Next came the hikers who had already reached the summit, warning us, “It’s muddy up there.” We laughed. Muddier than this?
Thankfully, by the time we reached the real mud, our littlest one was in the hiking backpack. The older two whined.
I tried to convince them we were on a Creature Adventure like the Wild Kratts, and maybe we could call ourselves the “Wild Cutreras.” They kept whining.
I gave up and told them Daddy and I would be the Wild Cutreras, and they could just be the Whiny Cutreras.
Finally, our shoes were so caked in mud (we’re talking inches here), we were able to convince the kids to join us in our quest to defeat the Mud Monster. Clearly, he had covered this mountain with mud and was threatening to jump into the valley and wash away our State Capitol if we didn’t make it to the top and stop him in time. (Don’t worry, we did. In fact, we sprayed him clean and turned him into a prince, but that’s another story.)
We ended up having a great day as a family, and we were glad we went.
Then I saw. those. shoes.
To keep this brief, let me just say it was not easy making them look new again. A few wooden sticks, a scrubbing brush, a kettle of boiling water, a bathtub full of mud, and a trip through the washing machine later, they looked great. But it was a process. It took a lot of time. A lot of effort. A lot of patience.
She couldn’t clean it up herself. I did it for her, because she’s mine. I love her.
I had some time to think while I was cleaning those shoes. To think about how God cleans us. First, He makes us His. He justifies us. But He also sanctifies us. He continues to make the effort to clean us.
“Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.” (Ephesians 5:25b-27, ESV)
That’s you. In splendor. Without spot or wrinkle. Holy. Without blemish.
You’re going to get there. He is going to keep working on you.
“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6, ESV)
You can’t do it yourself. But He will put in the effort, because you are His. He loves you. No matter how muddy your life may look.
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