Saturday, October 25, 2008

"The Crescent Red Socks"

"Come now, let us reason together," says the LORD.
"Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”
Isaiah 1:18 NIV

I grew up on a farm near Crescent, Oklahoma and when it rained, trying to walk through the red clay soil was similar to walking through a giant batch of rusty-red Play-dough with an unexpected ingredient of cement. The mud was so sticky that it could have been bottled and used for glue had it been white and a little less thick. It stuck to my pets, to the cows in the pasture, to our vehicles, to our shoes and boots, etc.

Growing up with this gummy substance provided many opportunities for me to be creative and inventive. My Mom and I formed some pottery-like dishes out of it so we could have a tea party with my dolls, using a new set of red “china.” In addition, I made numerous mud-pies to serve for dessert at the spontaneous tea parties.

Unfortunately, I never did find a successful way of arriving at the school-bus during an early-morning rainstorm without getting my shoes and socks muddied and stained. It was an extreme challenge to stay out of the red mud because there were limited numbers of grassy areas on which I could walk from our farmhouse to the end of the driveway in order to catch the mustard-yellow school-bus. Inevitably I had to step in the icky mud at some point before boarding the bus.

There were times when I got so bogged down in the gluey substance that I’d lose one of my shoes and not realize what had happened until I found myself walking onward with only one shoe. It was as if a hidden mud-monster suctioned the shoe from my foot and swallowed it for breakfast before I knew what was happening. No wonder I never had any white shoes nor socks when I was a child! They were always stained by mud the approximate color of rust due to the iron oxide in the soil.

In her attempts to make our “whites” whiter, I’m sure that my Mom used countless gallons of bleach during our years on the farm. No matter how hard she tried to get rid of that ugly reddish-brown stain in our clothing, there was always evidence that it was still there. Eventually there was nothing left to do but get a new pair of socks or shoes because the rusty stain was not removable.

Now-a-days T-shirts stained with red mud are trendy, expensive souvenir items in Oklahoma gift shops. This seems odd to me since I can go to our farm for no charge and drag a white T-shirt through the mud in order to stain it, but why would I want to? It seems like a waste of time and the ruin of a good T-shirt to me.

Even though activities and opportunities in our world may be popular and trendy like those ruddy souvenir T-shirts, oftentimes our choices regarding them result in having soul-staining sin embedded upon our souls. The stain of sin in our lives is far worse than the stain of red mud on my white socks and shoes as a child or on a T-shirt. Unless we ask God for forgiveness of sin in our lives, it is kept in our souls as a constant reminder of actions whose expensive price is not worth paying. It is like dragging our spiritual lives through the mud of sin and having the stains be approved as trendy or popular by the world, but why would we want to do that when the final cost is so much?

Sin does seem to have no price tag attached at the time, but in the end we pay with our very souls if forgiveness is not sought from God. Sin ultimately separates us from God for eternity unless we get together with Him to “reason it out” and to have Him “bleach” our scarlet sins away until our lives are clean–as purely white as freshly-fallen snow or the clean white wool on a brand-new lamb.

Sometimes we attempt to get rid of sin in our lives on our own, but no matter how hard we try to get rid of the ugly stain of sin in our souls, there will always be evidence that it is still there. Eventually we realize that there is nothing left for us to do but get a new life from God because the stain is not removable despite our best attempts. The only way to totally get rid of the sin in our souls is through God’s Son, Jesus–He is the only one that can accomplish this. Jesus is the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.

Dear God,
My whole life seems like it is just one big blob of sin that is sticking to me like red mud on white socks. I am bogged down with the guilt of sin and my very soul is stained with it. I know that I can do nothing to get sin out of my life on my own. I thank You that You want me to come and reason together with You so that my scarlet sins can be as white as snow. I am grateful that You sent Your very own Son, Jesus, to be the sacrificial Lamb to pay the price for my sin. I am glad that because of Jesus’ birth, death, burial and resurrection I can have my crimson-red sins forgiven and taken away so that my soul is as pure as You need it to be in order to spend eternity with You. Thank You for the new life I have in You.
In Jesus’ Name I pray,

© by Janet Faye Broyles 10-26-04 & 10-25-08 Edmond, Oklahoma
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