God’s Word tells us – Jesus tells us – that He sent The Comforter, the Holy Spirit, to abide with us – that He would not leave us alone, to fend for ourselves.
Ever wonder what that looks like from HIS perspective?
One day, in prayer, I asked God to show me that He was still with me, that He hadn’t abandoned me, that He was still with me.
That day, as on many days, I’m out for my bike ride down at the beach bike path here in Los Angeles, and I stop for a bathroom break at a public rest room I’d not used before. It was one of the nastiest restrooms I’d ever seen. It made your typical gas station facility look immaculate. I mean, it looked like someone had not only forgotten to wipe themselves, but then somehow managed to not pull up his pants and then drag his droppings all over the floor. Sorry for being graphic, but I’m painting a picture here to get to a point.
So here I am in this filthy spot, attempting to walk carefully in the few clean spots on the floor and get out of there in a hurry, when this beautiful white dove follows me into the rest room, holding a twig in its beak. And it’s not flying, it’s walking on that disgusting floor.
This was like a message to me, an answer to that prayer, and even more so in this location. It’s like God saying, yes I’m here with you, even in the turds. This reminds me of a few verses of Scripture that are often “cleaned up” for sensitive folk, that actually describe something quite similar…
- We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags. (Isaiah 64:6)
- Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean. Your filth will be washed away. (Ezekiel 36:25)
- And the LORD said to Satan, “I, the LORD, reject your accusations, Satan. Yes, the LORD rebukes you. This man is like a burning stick that has been snatched from the fire.” Jeshua’s clothing was filthy as he stood there before the angel. So the angel said to the others standing there, “Take off his filthy clothes.” And turning to Jeshua he said, “See, I have taken away your sins, and now I am giving you these fine new clothes.” (Zechariah 3:2-4)
So many religions out there are about what we can do to make ourselves right before God, to make ourselves acceptable. A long string of tasks a long string of things to avoid, all so we can reach Heaven or Nirvana or Enlightenment or whatever you choose to call it.
But the truth is that to a perfect and pure and Holy God, we’re all pretty despicable, and we don’t stand a chance. We cannot get ourselves cleaned up. All we can do is trust in Him, believe in Him, and let Him wash us. It’s His act that gets us clean, not anything we can do by our own power.
So the next time you think that you’re too despicable, too filthy, too hopeless for God to want to have anything to do with you, know that this is not true. God is willing to meet you, even when you’re standing in crap.
Remember the dove.