But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
My daughter, Sarah, and her husband, John, along with their daughters, Virginia Rose and Savannah Jane, regularly visit our house for Sunday dinner. Those of you who have been following this blog already know that my husband, Danny, loves to cook and plan meals. For this Sunday's repast, he decides to include Virginia in the preparation.
"Let's do pizza this Sunday," Danny announces. "I'll get fresh dough from Publix and let Virginia help me roll it out."
"Oh, she'll love that!" I assure him.
Does she ever!
Danny perches Virginia beside him on our library stool. As he flours the counter, preparing to roll out the crust, Virginia can't help putting her hands in it.
Before we know it, she is making mini-mountains.
When her Papa is through using the rolling pin, he hands it to Virginia so she can flatten flour into a pretend pizza. She sees this as an opportunity to practice her drawing.
But, oh, what a mess Virginia creates!
Most times, such chaos in our kitchen would be met with frustration and aggravation on my on my part. Not today! Just seeing the joy on Virginia's face as she plays with the flour makes cleaning up a labor of love.
It makes me think about how much God loves us. Loves you and me, as my grandmother was fond of saying, "Up to the moon and back." The fallen, sinful, sullied, incomparable messes that we are; covered from head to toe with the flour of iniquity.
While we were still sinners . . . The Lord didn't wait until we cleaned up our act to act on our behalf. No! Jesus offered up His perfection to perfect us in every way. His sacrifice means our salvation. His suffering sets us free. Free to be, through Him, in relationship with the Father.
A loving, intimate relationship, full of grace and forgiveness.
A debt we can never repay.
God has turned the flour of sin into a shining white cloak of righteousness which He wraps around us like comforting arms.
Because of Jesus, I know that no matter how many messes I make in this life, He will be there for me when I turn to Him with a contrite and humble heart.
He is my love.
He is my life.
He is my Lord . . .
Do you trust Jesus enough to let Him clean up the messy, unkempt parts of you?
Prayer: Father, how can we thank You enough for the love You have for us? The love which allowed You to send Your Beloved Son into this world to save us while we were still sinners? May we always turn to You and trust You to clean up the messes in our lives and forgive us when we fail and fall. In Jesus' precious name, we pray.