Monday is Laundry Day in the Furrow household; the sheets are changed, and the hampers are emptied. With just two of us laundry day is only one day a week and usually only about four loads.
Don’t hate me. I didn’t breeze through laundry days as a young wife and mother. Laundry days were every day! Sometimes there was load after load of throw up towels and bedding. I washed pails full of soaking diapers and pre-treated (usually unsuccessfully) spit-up stains. And, of course, along with baby laundry I struggled to provide Brian a clean and ironed shirt every day.
As the boys grew the laundry changed, I’d rub my knuckles raw scrubbing grass-stained white (always white) baseball pants. No one was gonna see my boys out on the field with dirty knees. Their uniforms were always clean!
And heaven forbid a guy in college should do laundry! During one visit when the boys lived together I washed thirteen, yes thirteen, loads of laundry! (Don’t judge – I only did it for them because Dan had surgery and I couldn’t let him move from the hospital to his apartment with a mountain of laundry on the floor – and yes, I also bought 10 packs of clothes hangers!!)
When I was a newlywed, and probably whining about doing laundry, my mother-in-law told me she really liked doing laundry! What?! Who enjoys doing laundry? She told me she loved the sense of accomplishment when she saw everything clean and folded. All I saw was next week’s dirty laundry – a never ending task of removing dirt, stains, poop, throw-up, sweat, stink, etc., etc., etc.
It’s a good thing God doesn’t think like I do when it comes to dirty laundry.
“‘Come now, let us settle the matter,’ 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
“Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.” – Psalm 51:1-2, 7NIV
At that moment when we come to Jesus in saving faith, and commit to live in him God washes us clean! We are eternally clean! Our sins – past, present and future – are forgiven. Salvation is a once for all cleansing.
“But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” –1 Corinthians 6:11NIV
However, even as saved and cleansed sinners, we too often step in the filth of the world. We vomit ugly words onto ourselves and others. Nastiness penetrates through to our hearts. Our attitudes stink. We wallow in the dirt of bitterness, envy, lies, self-pity, self-focus, hatred, unforgiveness, etc., etc., etc.
The reality is we sin and we need daily cleansing. Graciously God doesn’t say…
“Are you kidding me? I just washed that sin away!”
“How often are you going to step in the same pile of filth?
“What did you think would happen if you played in the dirt?
“Today isn’t laundry day.”
“Wash it yourself.”
Rather, God says…
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” – Matthew 11:28-29 NIV
If there is dirt you need to get rid of – if you desire cleansing – today is laundry day!
“Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight! Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of guilt, whose lives are lived in complete honesty!
“When I refused to confess my sin, my body wasted away, and I groaned all day long. Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat.
“Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt. I said to myself, ‘I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.’ And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone.” – Psalm 32:1-5 NLT