My five year old son is an only child, but according to him he’s got siblings. There is his baby sister “La-La” (the yellow Tele Tubby), “Bear“, and “Baby Bear“. So in his mind I‘m the mother of 4. Even with imaginary siblings, I’m always breaking up fights between them. And guess who is the only tattle teller of the bunch? I mean the boy can look at me with a straight face and blame spilt milk on a stuffed animal.
We’ve been watching a lot of “Little House on the Prairie” lately. So a king sized sheet thrown over the dining room table made a great tent for my adventuring pioneers. Nathan wanted he and his siblings to have breakfast under their tent. He proudly mixed up his own chocolate milk in his favorite Star Wars cup and then headed under the table. Of course, I warned him to be careful and not spill it on the carpet. Everything went fine until….you know….Bear spilt the milk!
I approached the stained carpet slowly with a wide eyed boy waiting for my reaction. I ask him what happened, and Nathan proceeds to tell me that Bear made the mess. I looked at Bear and said that if he was truthful about confessing what happened there would be no punishment. I expressed that I was more disappointed when someone blamed another person for their mess. Then Nathan piped in that he did it, and Bear didn’t, and he was sorry. I was so proud of him at that moment. He got a concept that I still struggle with to this day.
Why do I think I can justify or blame others for my behavior? One of my favorites are eating too many brownies because it’s my time of the month. Or why when I’m dealing with something stressful or painful, I feel it’s okay to impulsively treat myself to dinner or a road trip for the weekend? I know God sees the stains around my lips when they are moving and blaming someone or thing for the mess I’ve made. What a relief it is that I can go on and confess it and acknowledge my indiscretion to God. Only after repentance can He then teach us how to clean up our messes.
Nathan and I nestled ourselves down on the floor each one looking eye to eye with the stain between us. I said “Here boy, this is what we’re going to do. We’ll spray this carpet cleaner on the spot. But it’ll have to set for a few minutes.” Nathan was getting anxious. He had his white towel in hand ready to go for the stain. But I told him ”No Nathan, not yet let’s give the bubbles a chance to lift the stain.”
Those bubbles that God uses in our lives are usually trials and circumstances. And His Word is like the directions on the stain remover bottle reassuring us that it takes time to draw out the stains. And I don’t know about you, but I’d much prefer God gently blot than roughly scrub.
Lord, I pray that we each come clean about our messes and have patience while you teach us to blot!
“Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.” Proverbs 51:1 NIV