I made a lovely discovery this weekend – the sound of a little electronic tune drifted from our kitchen to my ears – my new-to-me washing machine sings a song when it has finished its job! I went on a cleaning frenzy and then realised that I also needed to go on an ironing frenzy. The bad thing is that I know these clothes won’t stay clean – by the end of the week I’ll be listening to the washing machines happy tune.
Job expresses this frustration that he can pick himself up, clean himself off but yet through circumstances God would let him land in the dirt again.
Job 9:30-31 Even if I scrub myself all over and wash myself with the strongest soap I can find, 31 It wouldn’t last–you’d push me into a pigpen, or worse, so nobody could stand me for the stink. (The Message)
You see God didn’t make our lives out of Teflon – our circumstances, our decisions and mistakes mark and mar our lives. Unfortunately God doesn’t stop this from happening and in the case of Job He is even the cause of the landing in the pigpen! Why would God let us go through stuff like this again and again? It seems to me that without falling in the pig pen (or being pushed) we may not remember turn to God. He is the only one who can cleanse us and thankfully He does so again and again.
James 4:8-10 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
By coming to God we receive more than cleansing but he lifts us up and transforms us.
Psalms 51:7-8 Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. 8 Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
In fact when He cleanses us we too, like my washing machine, can sing a song of joy. So the choice is ours – to wallow in the dirt and to say there is no point in getting clean as tomorrow will bring another pigpen, or we can come to God and get a transforming make over, knowing when we land in the mud again tomorrow we can go back to Him again.