Sometimes being a dog owner gives me a very dim glimpse into what God must see when He looks at me.
The other day, both dogs came in coated in mud. They’d been having a great time playing in the back yard and had gotten filthy in the process.
They didn’t see a problem with their muddy condition. I did. I knew the mess it would create in the house. I also didn’t really want to hold, pet, or interact with them in such a condition.
So I did what any good pet owner would do. I gave them baths. They hate baths. Yet after the bath, when they are clean and still damp, they tear around the house with great joy.
As I was bathing them and they were fighting me in the process, God reminded me that He does this with us. Our sin makes us dirty and often we don’t even realize how “muddy” we are. Being perfectly holy, God can’t stand the sight of us being so dirty, so He lovingly and gently cleanses us.
Sometimes the process is painful. Sometimes we hate the cleansing and fight Him on it, but He loves us too much to leave us in our dirty state.
When the cleansing process is complete, we’re clean, we smell good, and we have restored communion with God. The end result is worth the struggles we might go through to get there.
I love God’s promise in Jeremiah 33:8: “I will cleanse them from all the sin they have committed against me and will forgive all their sins of rebellion against me.”
Just as my muddy pups couldn’t clean themselves, only God brings the cleansing we so desperately need.
Will you join the Psalmist in praying: “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…. Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” Psalm 51:1-2, 10.