Luke 1:76-77 – And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins. (NIV)
Children have a unique way of illustrating spiritual truths. When my grandson was two, his grandfather made him a new bed, one with no sides on it. To the delight of his parents, Matthew loved his bed so much that they had no difficulty putting him to bed that night. However, the same couldn't be said about keeping him in bed the next morning. When the sun came up, Matthew got up, and, seeing that the sides on his crib no longer confined him, he took advantage of his newfound freedom, and proceeded to explore the house.
By the time his mother heard him, there was evidence of the toddler's escapades everywhere she looked. Water on the floor indicated that the pyjama-clad toddler had been playing in the fish tank; spilled coffee grounds on the counter attested to the fact that he'd been into the coffee; cat food overflowing in the cat's dish announced that he'd been trying to feed the cat; and bubbles spouting out of the vaporiser caused her to conclude that he'd added his bubble soap to the vaporiser. Added to this, it was easy to see that he'd helped himself to chocolate ice cream, for his cheeks and pyjamas were smeared with the evidence.
She stood in the doorway, and took in the scene, not knowing whether to laugh or cry. "Matthew, what's this mess?" she asked.
"I'm sorry," he said as he toddled over to her, and gave her a chocolate-stained hug. After the apology and the hug, his mother told me that she forgave him for everything else he had done earlier that morning.
Sometimes we are like Matthew. We get our lives in a mess, and, when our heavenly Father looks us over, all He can see is the stains of sin. But when we repent and ask forgiveness, He will forgive us, and remember our sins no more.
Prayer: Dear heavenly Father, we come to You today, asking for forgiveness for the mess we have made of our lives. Thank You for loving us when we are unlovely. Amen.