Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Breathe On Me Breath Of God"1 (Lyrics)
Hebrews 12:1 – Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. (ESV)
After a Sunday lunch of baked salmon, it fell to me to wash up. Imagine my surprise when our non-stick silicone baking mat was no longer as originally intended. Years of baking had left a layer of brown residue to which the salmon skin and flesh had stuck fast.
First of all, I scraped away at the salmon skins with a metal spatula to remove and dispose of the large chunks.
Not making much further progress, I raised my cleaning readiness level to DEFCON 3, and it was time to bring out the non-scratch scouring pads with more elbow grease.
That managed to get down another level but still left large numbers of fish scales seared onto the surface. So, I upped the ante to DEFCON 1 and brought out the stainless-steel scouring pad. Oh yes, this did the job, and it removed quite a bit of brown residue at the same time.
It was at this point, seeing the brown residue coming off in tiny flakes, that I was prompted to think about how we try to stop bad habits or experiences from sticking to our lives, but we fail. We cannot do it by ourselves. Over time, some stuff still sticks to our fallen nature, and, if left uncleansed, bad experiences stick to that stuff, and they, in turn, refuse to go away because we cannot do it in our strength alone.
Of course, we know to come before the throne and ask Jesus, who can clean us up, to set us free and clear. He has the power to truly set us free from the stuff of life that entangles. Free of such stuff is a good place to be.
So maybe, like me, you can ask and allow Jesus to remove the crud of life, to deliver us from the hurts and sins that would seek to stick to us for life.
If we do not ask Jesus to set us free, who else is there to turn to — who can do it?
Prayer: Lord, we rejoice in the fact that You are a God who is able. Hear our prayer for forgiveness and set us free from all the "little" stuff of life that so easily entangles and brings us down, allowing bigger burdens to accrue. Lord, akin to those cleaning advertisements, may we become sparkly clean in Your kingdom so that we can take Your message of peace, hope, and freedom with us into the world today, in Jesus' name. Amen.