I’ve always loved rain. Since I was a teenager there’s been something about a rainy day that makes me want to put on my running shoes, grab my iPod (or walkman it was called back in those days), and just go for a long, slow run. I love the smell of damp earth. I love the sound of anything splashing in puddles. No matter what mood I may be in when I step out the door, it always soothes my soul to have raindrops gently caress my cheeks. I love the way everything just feels clean when it rains.
I was watching the rain today and thinking about how a few weeks ago our driveway in front of the garage door was covered in drawings and words that our girls had made with sidewalk chalk. It took a few rainy days to wash it all away, but today I noticed that not a single trace of that chalk–not even the tiniest stain from it–remains. It’s as though all those drawings were never there at all.
Just like my driveway, my life has been stained with sin. The sin of pride. The sin of hypocrisy. The sins of dishonesty, disobedience, selfishness, self-indulgence….there aren’t many sins that I can think of that I haven’t committed in one way or another. I may never have murdered, but there was a time many years ago that I wished I had never been born. I may never have worshipped another god, but there was a time when I denied the existence of any god. What is even worse, though, is that in all the years since I professed my faith in the One, True God, I have chosen many times to worship things in His place–my possessions, my children, even myself. When I’m brutally honest with myself, there isn’t a single day of my life–either before I came to know Jesus or since–that I have not stained the driveway of my life with sin.
Tonight I’m grateful that I know how able He is to perpetually scrub that stain as though it never existed. I’m thankful that I can humble myself before a Living God–a God who doesn’t demand perfection from me–and simply ask for His mercy and grace. In spite of all the messes I’ve made, coarse words I’ve spoken, the filth that I’ve allowed into my heart, and the lies I’ve believed in my mind; He still wants me. He still loves me. He still chooses me. I used to think that it would be a burden to live under all the “rules” in the Bible. But it turns out that those same “rules” buy me more freedom than I ever could have imagined because they offer me the opportunity to live free from the bondage of shame and regret. Even when I choose to be rebellious and break the “rules,” I don’t have to spend a lifetime being guilt-ridden over all of my failures.
The rain today reminded me of who I am. It reminded me of the sinful things I’ve done in my past. It reminded me of my imperfections and the sins I struggle with today. But mostly it reminded me that I don’t have to be ashamed of any of that. His blood rained down from a Cross over 2000 years ago and to this very day that is still enough.