I was sitting at my kitchen table this morning reading my devotion, which just happened to include Psalm 51. Psalm 51 is a confession psalm for sure.
Wash away all my iniquity
and cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is always before me.
Against you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you are proved right when you speak
and justified when you judge. (v. 2-4)
At some point, I glanced up at the front door where the sun was shining through the glass of the storm door and was pretty distracted by what I saw. The glass was dirty…all smudged with finger prints, sticky marks from the little rubber grabbing hand my son got out of the prize box at school, streaks from the last time the door got wiped down but obviously not well, and your every day average dirt smears on the outside as well. I hadn’t noticed it really until the sun was shining right through the door. The light seemed to call out every little smear and streak there was to the point that I had to get up, grab the Windex and wipe that thing clean. Or at least I thought I had. I’d sprayed it from top to bottom, inside and out, and wiped off all the Windex. Satisfied, I put up the cleaning supplies as sat back down to finish reading. But when I glanced up at the door again, although it wasn’t as bad as it had been to start with, it still had lots of streaks and smears. Clearly this wasn’t going to be a quick job.
But something else sort of caught my attention as well.
There was a strip of the glass at the top of the door that was perfectly clean. Or at least it seemed to be. But I realized that where the sun was climbing up in the sky, it was no longer shining through that strip of the door because the porch overhang was blocking that little bit.
I’m not sure how well you can see it in the picture, but if you look at my neighbor’s roof, you can see the line of where the seemingly clean glass stops and the streaky glass starts. As long as the sun wasn’t shining right on it, it appeared to be crystal clear…but it wasn’t really.
It took the light shining throught the door to see the dirty.
And it takes shining the light of Jesus on us to see the sinful places.
For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is always before me. (v. 3)
Because my sin is always before me – even when I can’t see it…or choose not to see it.
It’s funny what God will show you when you’re willing to look. And it’s funny what you can see when you’re looking at it through the light of God’s truth.
Starting today, my church is joining together for a corporate fast for the next three weeks. And my prayer for myself for this fast is for God to really use this time to shine His light into the dark places inside me.
Show me my sin, Lord. Prepare my heart today to confess those sins that I’ve ignored because I’ve chosen not to look at them in the light of your Word. Strip away my pride, and teach me humility, Lord.
Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me. (v. 10)
I know that this is no quick task, but rather a daily thing. A continuous coming before the throne in submission and repentance. And today is the first step. Today I’m ready to open the door and call darkness out into the light.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. (v. 12)
I know this time of fasting is from the Lord. It has to be. I can’t think of any other reason why I would be excited about removing sweets and ginger ale from my table. There’s no other real explanation for why I’m looking forward to the next 21 days without cheese.
Save me from bloodguilt, O God,
the God who saves me,
and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.
O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth will declare your praise. (v.14-15)
No, the timing of this is only the Lord and I cannot wait to see what’s going to happen in my life, the life of my family and my church family over the next three weeks. Healthy new habits are being made, friendships are being formed, people are encouraging each other, but above all else…the face of God is being sought out. Praise God for the movement of His Spirit today and in the days to come!
And as for me, Lord…I surrender. Shine Your light, Jesus.
You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart,
O God, you will not despise. (v. 16-17)