The Cleansing Power

Sunday, July 5, 2020

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9, NKJV.

The summer heat was already intensifying as I stood and stretched my aching muscles. Even at 9:00 a.m. the July sun was potent. I had learned that the never-ending work of maintaining a yard was best done early in the day. Wiping the sweat from my face, I smiled at the results of this morning's work. The flower bed was again rid of those noxious, prickly thistles. It looked pretty good, though I couldn't take credit for the rainbow array of perennial flowers that brightened our landscape. The previous owner had shown a real talent for arranging and planning flower beds that would complement the uneven terrain. My job was to try to keep the weeds removed.

Returning the gardening tools to the garage, I gratefully headed for the shower. The dust and dirt of the garden mixed with sweat might be a sign of honest labor, but it was hardly a thing to cherish longer than necessary. As the warm water and soap removed the unpleasant aroma of my morning's toil, I thanked the Lord again for the convenience of abundant hot water and modern plumbing. Not only did the soap and water remove the dirt, but they also brought relief to muscles unaccustomed to such agricultural pursuits.

When God created the skin to cover the human body, He could have made it as tough as that of the turtle's shell. Instead our skin is supple, strong, and so sensitive that, according to Paul Brand and Philip Yancey in Fearfully and Wonderfully Made, we can discern a thousandth of an ounce of pressure on the tip of a half inch of hair. No wonder the warm spray of a shower is so delightfully refreshing!

Rejuvenated, I stepped from the shower ready to tackle the rest of the day's tasks. The psalmist had recognized the restorative power of water when he prayed, "Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. . . . Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow" (Ps. 51:2-7, NIV).

Thank You, Lord, that Your cleansing water of life is even more available than the warm water in my shower. Please wash me every day.

Used by permission of Health Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.