Happy Monday, Sisters! The other day I had a revelatory moment, as I often do while washing the dishes, and I want to share it with you. Washing dishes is oddly therapeutic for me, and one of my favorite times to reflect on the Lord and soak in His presence. As I got to the last dish, it happened to be an aluminum pot, which we call a “caldero” in Spanish. In my usual multi-tasking, I left something cooking while doing other chores around the house like washing clothes and tending to the kids, and forgot to lower the heat on the stove. Of course, this caused what I was cooking to burn. Thankfully, I smelled it fast enough to transfer the food to another pot and salvage it before it was ruined. However, I now had a stubborn burnt bottom of a pot to scrub. As I was scrubbing the pot with Brillo, my arms began to tire. I mean, this was some stubborn stuff not wanting to lift, even with the magical Brillo pads. I had gone through two already! While it felt like I was getting nowhere, as I studied the pot it was clear I had made progress, even if it was just a little bit. Slow progress is still progress, after all. In lieu of the current season and in meditating on the resurrection of Jesus Christ, I could not help but be overwhelmed by gratitude. I thought to myself, “Wow, this pot is just as grimy, unclean, and stubborn as I was when Jesus pursued me. And no matter how stubborn I was and how long it took for my dirt to be lifted, still He pursued me steadfastly!” Webster’s Dictionary defines steadfast this way: “1a: firmly fixed in place: immovable. b: not subject to change. 2: firm in belief, determination, or adherence: loyal.” Jesus! Did you catch that, Sis? Our Savior IS love, and He reflects the acronym ILU: IMMOVABLE, LOYAL, and UNCHANGING! Hallelujah, that’s praiseworthy! How many of you have experienced this firsthand in your walk with Christ? No matter how stubborn you’ve been, how far in the opposite direction you have run out of fear of not being able to live up to what God has called you to, how many times you’ve failed, STILL He pursued you! Okay, okay, not you, right? I’ll take one for the team and say it’s just my story. In all seriousness, God does not tire from pursuing us, no matter how long it takes. So here’s my question to you: why do we make excuses and tire from pursuing His will for our lives? We say things like, “I don’t want to be a hypocrite and be a lukewarm believer.” So you prefer to just be cold and be totally out of His will? Do you realize the energy it takes to continue living life with no purpose, satisfying temporary fixes that leave you emptier than before, searching to fill a void in all the wrong places, to no avail? I’ve been there. And maybe these are not words you yourself have said, but I’m sure you can think of someone you know who has uttered these words before. It took the most for me to come to my senses and realize there was nothing the world could ever offer me that could be greater than God’s will for my life. I could not, in my human capacity, imagine a better life for myself than the one God has planned for me. It’s been proven time and time again, and I would venture to say that the same is true for you, my dear sister. If God could bear the weight of the world’s sins on the cross, die a sacrificial death, resurrect on the third day, conquer death, and still continuously pursue us in our mess today, what excuse do we have to not actively pursue His will and purpose for our lives daily? Is it that hard to wake up every morning and say, “Lord, not my will, but your will be done today. Have your way in my life”? After scrubbing consistently and for a while, whether I saw results as fast as I wanted to or not, the mess was lifted completely. I was able to see the shiny silver bottom of my caldero again. The sweetest reminder about the matchless love of our Abba Father, and how He loves us through our mess until we are blameless in his sight. And no, we’re never going to be perfect, but as Christians our faith works through love and produces blamelessness and righteousness. I can’t make this up. Just read Psalm 51:10-12 for yourself.
Righteousness is defined in Webster’s Dictionary as: “1: acting in accord with divine or moral law: free from guilt or sin. 2a: morally right or justifiable.” Which is why ONLY Jesus, in all of His perfection, could have saved us. For us as believers, to be righteous means to be in right relationship with God, simply put. It is a gift given to us by the Lord when we accept what Jesus has done for us by faith. Romans 5:17-18 is evidence of this, meaning we cannot achieve it by our own strength, but only with the help of God given to us on the day of our salvation. And it is what we should strive for daily as believers, rather than being so silly as to believe that God expects us to achieve this on our own by our own limited strength. Let’s be real, in our human nature, and as long as we are abiding in this flesh, we are grimy: “full of or covered with grime: dirty.” (Webster’s Dictionary) But in Christ, we are glistening: “1: to give off a sparkling or lustrous reflection of or as if of a moist or polished surface. 2: glitter, sparkle.” (Webster’s Dictionary) Today, let us celebrate by spreading our sparkle to those all around us, in hopes that they may receive the same perfect love we were gracefully gifted on Resurrection Day nearly 2,000 years ago!